Anti-logging protester to face court on trespass charge
A PROTESTER who was arrested after locking herself onto an excavator in order to prevent the resumption of logging in Nambucca State Forest will face court next month.
At around 7am Monday, officers from the Mid North Coast Police District were called to a private property at Nambucca Heads following reports of three people trespassing.
Police were informed two people had fled into bushland while the 24-year-old protester was found secured to the excavator.
She was removed by police and arrested before being taken to Macksville Police Station where she was charged with aggravated unlawful entry onto inclosed lands.
She was granted conditional bail to appear at Macksville Local Court on August 6.
Protests have been underway at the forest for over a month now, with Gumbaynggirr people and environmental activists arguing that the forest is a sacred cultural site as well as key koala habitat.
The Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group, who established a Tent Embassy at Nambucca State Forest in early May, are calling for the forest to be protected as a cultural heritage park.
Last week activists also held a rally outside NSW Parliament House to coincide with the tabling of a petition signed more than 23,000 times.
The logging operation conducted by Forestry Corporation of NSW had been stalled for two weeks due to legal court proceedings and rain, and was scheduled to recommence on Monday when the incident occurred.
A Forestry Corporation spokesperson confirmed the excavator was taken to the forest soon after the arrest and the logging operation has recommenced.
The Forestry Corporation has continued to state it is conducting a small-scale, low-intensity thinning operation in around 100ha, with half of this area to be left ‘untouched’ and managed as wildlife habitat.