The peak environment group, South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA) is asking the Minister for the Environment, Matt Kean to intervene to stop the resumption of logging on the South Coast this week.
Logging resumed in Nadgee State Forest (Cpt 95A) south of Eden on Monday, with other operations approved for Yambulla and Timbillica/ East Boyd likely to start at any time.
It is now 6 months since logging stopped in the Eden Region. This was because the Forestry Corporation was unable to meet the post bushfire environmental standards set by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Spokesperson for SERCA, Harriett Swift said: “it is obvious from recent information provided to Budget Estimates Committees that the logging industry was finding it financially non-viable to log under the stricter rules and had decided to ignore the EPA and proceed with logging regardless.”
“To resume logging now, especially under approvals substantially unchanged since before the bushfires is reckless and irresponsible,” according to Ms Swift.
Nadgee State Forest was heavily burnt in last summer’s fires. It was formerly home to threatened species including Eastern Pygmy Possums, Dusky Woodswallows, Gang-gang Cockatoos, Long-nosed Potoroos, Powerful Owls, Sooty Owls, Southern Brown Bandicoots and Common Bent-wing Bats.
“Any bushfire survivors among these species will have no hope if this logging goes ahead.”
Ms Swift said that scientific advice tells us that any burnt forests which are now logged will take possibly 200 years to recover, if ever.
“To risk the very existence of these forest ecosystems for a few boatloads of cheap export woodchips is greedy and short sighted.”
“Woodchipping is massively subsidised by taxpayers and it’s time our Governments and the industry recognised that native forest woodchipping has no future.”
“Completing the transition of the industry from native forests to plantation wood could be done quickly and with minimal dislocation, and with economic as well as environmental benefits to the community.”