Nambucca forest activists take their case to NSW Parliament
FIRST Nations people and environmental activists will protest outside NSW Parliament House on Wednesday, calling for an immediate halt to public native forest logging.
They say the NSW Forestry Corporation has used the cover of coronavirus to start logging precious forests at Nambucca and that cultural sites have already been destroyed.
They say an urgent ecological assessment should be carried out to assess the impact of the recent fires on wildlife and their post-fire status.
Most of the forests in question contain high quality koala habitats, glossy black cockatoo feed trees, the greater glider and the Hastings River mouse.
A spokesperson from NSW Forestry has downplayed these concerns saying the operation in Nambucca State Forest is a low-intensity thinning operation that will produce renewable timber, give trees more room to grow and retain forest cover across the entire area.
"The operation is in regrowth forest, which has been previously harvested for timber and regrown, and includes large sections that were established as a timber plantation, planted for timber production. Work is currently not taking place on the site."
Gumbaynngirr Nation spokesperson, Sandy Greenwood has criticised the lack of community consultation surrounding the operation.
"There have been concerns about the lack of transparency from the Forestry Corporation who have avoided Gumbaynngirr community consultation processes and ignored contact and questions from the community," Ms Greenwood said.
Gumbaynngirr people have also claimed that cultural sites have been destroyed.
But the Forestry Corporation rejects these claims saying their Aboriginal Partnerships team has carried out cultural heritage surveys in consultation with the Local Aboriginal Land Council while planning the operation.
"And we continue to liaise with the Local Aboriginal Land Council and Elders groups.
"Forestry Corporation has been speaking with the local Aboriginal community about operations in Nambucca State Forest for many months.
"Forestry Corporation plans and carries out operations in line with the relevant licenses and regulations, which are independently regulated. Forestry Corporation has not been informed of any compliance issues in Nambucca State Forest."
Wednesday's action will coincide with NSW Parliament receiving a 25,000 strong petition calling on the Forestry Corporation to end logging in the Nambucca Forests.
The action will take place from 1pm to 2pm and will abide by physical distancing measures.
It is supported by the Nature Conservation Council and the North East Forest Alliance.