Logging on north coast 'the end' for NSW Koalas
CRITICISM is mounting on Forestry Corporation's proposed logging operations on the north coast, with claims that they will spell the end for NSW koalas.
According to the North East Forest Alliance, NSW Government's plans to zone most of the coastal State Forests for logging and clearfelling will remove the already 'inadequate' protection for the core koala habitat.
NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said their analysis shows that of the 6,000 records of koalas on State Forest on the north coast, 92% of them are in the 57% of forests proposed to be zoned for logging.
"The intensification of logging and reduction in protections for threatened species are being driven by 25 year wood supply contracts first signed in 1998," said Mr Pugh.
"Since then the committed volumes of large sawlogs have had to be reduced by 47% because of the Forestry Corporation's grossly inflated resource estimations. NSW taxpayers have paid loggers at least $13 million in compensation for non-existent timber they were given for free, and millions more buying timber from private land to supplement supplies.
"Over that time, Koala populations on the north coast have crashed by 50%."
The koala is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species as a Vulnerable species.
The Alliance are calling on the Premier to give a commitment that Forestry Corporation will not be allowed to intensify logging in coastal forests.
On the other hand, Forestry Corporation state the wood manufacturing industry is an economic driver for regional NSW, with a value of $2.4 billion.
They also state due to population growth within the next 13 years, timber is needed for the building of more than 660,000 houses.
The wood industry also employs around 3,300 people.
Local protests have recently been held in relation to the logging of Tarkeeth State Forest, ands the proposed logging of Roses Creek State Forest and Oakes State Forest near Bellingen.