Brooman community demand a halt to local logging, call for release of fire review and action on forestry corporation breaches The Brooman State Forest Conservation Group has demanded a halt logging in the Shallow Crossing State Forest calling on the NSW Government and Environment Protection Authority to publish a secret report commissioned into the effects of logging operations in bushfire-affected forests and for action to be finalised for illegal logging identified in the neighbouring Brooman State Forest last year.
Last week Forestry Corporation began logging operations in compartment 212A of the Shallow Crossing State Forest, which was partially burnt in the 2019/20 fires.
The site is near the Brooman State Forest where Forestry Corporation were ordered by the EPA to stop work(1) in July 2020 for systemic breaches of the site-specific post-fire logging rules. The community documented dozens of breaches including the illegal logging of hollow bearing trees and giant trees, which were required to be retained. Despite the EPA publicly identifying breaches by Forestry Corporation and taking the rare action to issue a stop work order, there has not yet been any fines or prosecutions relating to the breaches. In December 2020 the EPA issued an update on bushfire-affected logging and identified compartment 212A in the Shallow Crossing State Forests as a "high risk"(2) site. Following a dispute between Forestry Corporation and the EPA(3) over the rules that should apply in bushfire affected forests the NSW Government commissioned the NSW Natural Resources Commission to conduct a review. That review has been kept secret(4) despite being intended to inform logging rules in high risk sites like Shallow Crossing State Forest.
Mr Shannon Hush from the Brooman State Forest Conservation Group said, "As far as we are concerned this logging is unlawful and must be stopped by the NSW Government immediately. "There’s been no resolution on the breaches we identified and the review by the NRC (Nation Resources Commission) to address our concerns about bushfire affected logging has been kept secret. "This current site was identified as "high risk" by the EPA but they haven’t been able to apply any additional rules to protect it. The voluntary additional conditions proposed by Forestry Corporation are totally unenforceable and unacceptable. "Until these issues are addressed our community won't accept that logging can be done without having unacceptable impacts on our recovering forests. "We're calling on the NSW Government to release the report and make clear what regulatory action will be taken against Forestry Corporation for their blatant breaches of the rules at South Brooman Compartment 58A
"If the Government won't even come clean with their own independent scientific analysis, why would we accept that the actions of Forestry Corporation is based on Ecologically Sustainable Forestry Management which is what is required by the law. "The community is left with little choice but to consider direct action to protect our forests," Mr Hush said.
Above and below: "This is what’s going on right now at Shallow Crossing just south of Ulladulla. Forestry Corproation is tearing the guts out of our local forests. The area around here was badly burnt. In fact 80% of South coast forests were burnt. The person who took these photos today saw Gang Gangs feeding off these fallen trees. These hollows on the ground were homes for animals just yesterday. Many were likely still seeking refuge from the badly burnt areas nearby that are still struggling to recover. This logging shouldn’t be happening. Expert scientific advice shows the long-term impact on forest recovery from logging burnt forests and this site was deemed high risk due to fire impacts. The Government didn’t like this advice so they commissioned their own early this year. They’ve now made that advice secret - I can only assume it didn’t say what they wanted. John Barilaro is to blame. He’s the Forestry Minister in NSW. It’s an absolute disgrace." Justin Field social media post.