Anti-logging activist arrested after locking onto machinery
A PROTESTER has been arrested after locking themself onto machinery in a bid to prevent the recommencement of a logging operation at Nambucca State Forest.
Gumbaynggirr people and environmental activists have been protesting against the Forestry Corporation logging operation for over a month now, saying the forest is a sacred cultural site as well key koala habitat.
Protesters are calling for the forest - one of few in the region that was spared from 2019-2020 bushfires - to be protected as a cultural heritage park.
Last week activists held a rally outside NSW Parliament House to coincide with the tabling of a petition signed more than 23,000 times.
The operation which had been halted over the last two due to formal court proceedings and rain was scheduled to recommence today when the activist locked themself onto the machinery.
"When legal channels have been blocked, over 23,000 signatures tabled, Gumbaynggirr pleas ignored and all other negotiations dismissed - we have no other recourse than to put our selves on the line," the Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group wrote on social media following the arrest.
A Forestry Corporation spokesperson told The Advocate that the incident occurred on private property in the early hours of the morning.
Police removed the protester a short time after the lock-on occurred.
The machine was then returned to the forest, and operations have since recommenced.
A spokesperson previously told The Advocate that Forestry Corporation was conducting a small-scale, low-intensity thinning operation in around 100ha.
They added half of this area will be 'untouched' and managed as wildlife habitat.
"Forestry Corporation is carrying out an … operation in Nambucca State Forest to produce renewable timber poles and structural timbers that are currently in high demand as communities rebuild after the bushfires," the spokesperson said.
"There are strict regulations governing all forestry operations in NSW developed by expert scientific panels to ensure wildlife habitat is protected and maintained across the landscape."