Local environmentalists have been protesting against Forestry Corporation logging on Sunny Corner road in Gladstone State Forest. The protests started at first light last Monday 12 February.
The protestors allege that Premier Gladys Berejikjlian and Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton have ignored pleas to protect the koala habitat in the Gladstone State Forest from logging..
The Bellingen Environment Centre (BEC) allege that the Forestry Corporation is a ‘rogue organisation’ that is ‘smashing the laws of environmental protection’. Through Spokesperson Ashley Love, they also argue that the Environmental Protection Agency are a “failed regulator who appear to have given up”.
“Logging of koala habitat started this week and the Forestry Corporation has closed the forest so it can be done away from public scrutiny” the BEC said.
The BEC argue the community is “left with no other choice to protest strongly and loudly in the forest” from Monday onwards .
As usual our protest will be entertaining, loud and colourful but will also be safe said the Environment Centre spokesperson.
The BEC say the forest is being logged “predominantly on very steep land, with erodible soils in an area of high summer rainfall”.
“We provided Forestry Corporation with evidence of the koalas” the centre spokesperson said . “The number of scats (koala poo pellets) found in the area was more than any of us had ever seen in one location. Their response is to create a ”koala high use buffer’ (2 ha). The problem is, there is no high use area being buffered and there is no provision under the logging rules for a ‘koala high use buffer’. They are making it up as usual, trying to give the impression they are doing something, but in reality they are doing nothing.”
A scan of media releases of the NSW State Forest Department’s web site and the Minister’s office site show no response from either to the protest at the time this article was published. Searches of the local print and radio media also failed to uncover any responses either.