Minns Labor needs to protect native forests if they win government

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NSW citizen action to halt forest destruction as Forestry out of control in mid north coast – Four blockades and counting

Bob Brown Foundation calls on NSW Labor to commit to protecting all native forests if they win government in March. Applauding the building community resistance to Forestry NSW’s destructive logging operations of native forest at the mid-north coast, the Foundation has urged government action as we enter a new alarming stage, logging even more unburnt, intact forest vital for the survival of remaining koalas and other wildlife.

“We are watching our future being obliterated by a government agency that is destroying forests that sequester carbon at the rate we need to reach net zero emissions. The native forests clean our air and water, retain soil, and are the best carbon capture solution we have available on this planet,” says Doro Babeck, Bob Brown Foundation Campaigner.

“Four blockade camps are trying to save these unprotected forests: Kalang Headwaters near Dorrigo, Bulga State Forest, Lorne State Forest, and now the latest in Yarrat State forest north of Taree. Yarrat SF forest has already seen incredible destruction over the last two years with 50 % of it flattened. Now Forestry is back wanting to take the rest,” said Doro Babeck.

Local environment group North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) representative Sue Russell already warned the State Environment Minister James Griffin 12 months ago to stop logging in Yarratt SF and instead implement the recommendations of the Natural Resource Commission’s report into forestry operations after the 2019/20 bushfires. It advised that logging should not go ahead.

“The Government ignored the recommendation and allowed logging to start in July 2021. With the commencement of logging in the northern half of Yarratt State Forest it is clear the Forestry Corporation are breaking a condition of their logging licence that Harvesting operations are distributed across the landscape and over time, to support a mosaic of forest age classes and maintenance of forest structure in the operational area or local landscape area,” said NEFA representative Sue Russell.

“It’s time for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to act. Their job is to enforce the logging rules, which are being broken here. The remaining northern part Yarrat State Forest has a significant number of koala records and contains high value koala habitat. This is a species on its last legs, we know they are on a rapid path to extinction. Why would we allow Forestry to log their habitat so they can pull low value timber out, which will only be woodchipped and turned into toilet paper?” says Doro Babeck

“I thank the brave communities all along the mid-north coast who stand in the way of bulldozers, putting their lives at risk for the common good, for koalas and wildlife and for our future. It’s insane we are logging these last remaining forests at a time of increased heat and the need for carbon storage. This government is failing us. Australians have had enough!” said Doro Babeck.

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