No dispute with ex-logger Gordon

IT was perhaps the surprise comment of the council meeting.

Following a presentation by Hydes Creek resident Pia Dollman outlining the case for a changed management regime of plantation forest abutting Bellingen Cemetery, Cr Gordon Braithwaite turned to Ms Dollman and said:

“Strangely, Pia, I agree with you.”

“I was a logger for 50 years and I believe in selective logging. That way, you always have a forest,” Cr Braithwaite said.

Ms Dollman requested the council initiate negotiations with Forests NSW to convert the compartment to a native forest management regime with selective logging. The compartment is ear-marked for clear-felling in March 2009.

“This area is used by many residents for recreation - it is walking distance for North Bellingen residents, people ride horses and motor bikes there, it provides koala habitat and is also a peaceful environment bordering the town's cemetery,” Ms Dollman said.

“The harvesting operation would create noise and dust pollution, ongoing smoke smoulder from fires and a major loss of visual amenity and a recreational facility.”

Cr Kerry Child moved the council hold discussions with the regional management of Forest NSW and negotiate for the proposal.

Cr Ian Coe said wide-ranging discussions were desirable.

He proposed the council 'engage in negotiations to maximise the beneficial use of the compartment by the community with a preference for the proposed option'. The amendment was passed unanimously.

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