Local residents in Bellingen have reported koalas being forced down into the fringes of the town as a result of logging activities that breach a koala protection plan seemingly withdrawn without the knowledge of local residents.
ENVIRO CENTRE WANTS LOGGING TO CEASE IN PINE CREEK FOREST
10 Jul, 2012 09:32 AM
The Bellingen Environment Centre is appealing to State Environment Minister, Robyn Parker to stop logging at Pine Creek Forest which is home to the same large colony of some 400 Koalas who frequent neighboring Boambee Forest.
During the past months concerned residents of Bellingen have been reporting Koalas coming down into the fringes of the town as they are forced out of Pine Creek Forest through breaches of the Harvest Plan.
A recent inspection revealed 100m spaces between trees in the riparian zones preventing Koalas from connecting with Bongil Bongil National Park next door to Pine Creek.
Reviews and assessments in 2005 and 2010 required by the Koala Protection Plan 2000 put together at great expense and voluntary community contribution have not been carried out. It has now been revealed that, without public knowledge the plan was withdrawn when Bongil Bongil gained National Park Status.
Caroline Joseph spokesperson for the BEC said, “The community is shocked by the increasing number of injured sick and displaced Koalas and demand that Koala Plan 2000 be reinstated and that proper reviews of Koala welfare are undertaken as a matter of urgency”. “
Koalas do not recognize State and National Park boundaries and must have connectivity and quality habitat to maintain good health”.
All regulatory bodies have been contacted regarding clear felling of important habitat trees at Pine Creek Forest and BEC have offered evidence to the NRCMA that first and second order streams have been damaged and are blocked with silt. We understand that timber supply is now a serious problem and Boral’s companies are suing Forestry for lack of supply. Responsibility for this situation must be sheeted home to the previous government.
Ms Joseph said, “Now is the time for this new government to show some leadership, stop the logging at Boambee Forest and Pine Creek Forest and protect one of the three most significant Koala populations on the North Coast and our region’s lucrative tourist industry.”