Starting this Friday, the government plans to log an area that is considered the crown jewel of the Great Koala National Park. Oakes State Forest is a stronghold for the koala and in the heartland of the proposed Great Koala National Park.
“The Minns NSW government needs to immediately set a moratorium on 100% of the proposed Great Koala National Park, not just the 5% announced yesterday.”
“NSW Minister for Environment Penny Sharpe has overseen the largest industrial scale logging operation inside a proposed future National Park. When the new government was elected, the public didn’t expect to see it being logged first. A sustained campaign for koalas, wildlife and biodiversity has forced this latest announcement by the Minister for the Environment,” said Doro Babeck, Bob Brown Foundation’s NSW Campaigner.
It takes a good one hour on a dirt road through Juugawaarri Reserve to get to the biodiverse-rich Oakes State Forest. This whole area is of high conservation value for koalas and home to the endangered Sphagnum frog. This is important forest habitat for Greater Gliders, Yellow-bellied Gliders, Rufous Scrub-birds and Glossy Black Cockatoos.
“The minister needs to protect 100% of the proposed Great Koala National Park, not just 5%. This is a tokenistic gesture by Labor. These biodiverse-rich forests deserve better – they are vital for climate mitigation and store massive amounts of carbon. What the government is doing by logging 95% of forests with National Park values increases catastrophic fire risk and releases more carbon into the atmosphere.”
“I call on the government to honour their promise and end logging in the Great Koala National Park, otherwise they will be remembered as the koala killers,” Doro Babeck said.