Koala Habitat is not a renewable resource

Shrinking Koala Habitat – completely dependent upon the whims of Australians, if we give a toss.
Being systematically destroyed by O’Farrell Government Loggers across coastal New South Wales, Australia

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Koala Habitat is being trashed across New South Wales

 
[Source:  The following article was published as ‘When trees fall in the forests’, by Ben Cubby, Sydney Morning Herald, 20101112, ^http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/when-trees-fall-in-the-forests-20101111-17pgt.html]

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<<The dull, grinding roar of logging trucks has become background noise in the hills around Eden, on the New South Wales south coast. Equally familiar is the sight of people photographing the loggers’ loads as they are hauled down to the local woodchip mill and on to ships bound for Japan. The campaigners are looking for signs of tree trunks that have hollows and may have supported native sugar gliders or owls.

About 1,200 kilometres north, in the subtropical rainforest near Casino, botanists and zoologists are poring over maps and Google Earth, tracking breaches of logging conditions – trees cut down inside protection zones, trees felled that supported endangered wildlife or nourished other flora.

The tit-for-tat battle in the forests has led to frustration on all sides, with forestry workers complaining of ”manic hatred” directed at them. Anti-logging activists say the damage to state forests is systematic and routine, as established rules in the NSW Forest Agreements are disregarded.

”It’s not exactly a surprise to us that there are so many breaches because the fox is in charge of the hen house,” says Lisa Stone, a campaigner with South-East Forest Rescue. ”It keeps happening over and over again. You have got areas where they are supposed to be taking out single trees and then you go there and it’s practically clear-felled.”

For each state forest targeted for logging, a plan must be drawn up that leaves some trees untouched, in accordance with the ”environmental protection licences” issued to logging contractors working for the state government agency, Forests NSW.

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What the hell is Government’s Forests NSW doing to Wildlife Habitat?

 

Forests NSW Greenwash:

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“Forests NSW is committed to ensuring a supply of timber from NSW State forests today and into the future while also protecting other forest values such as biodiversity, clean air and water and public access for recreation.  We are committed to running a safe and profitable business for the people of NSW.”

“The NSW (O’Farrell) Government has announced it will make Forests NSW a state owned corporation (SOC). Forests NSW will remain publicly owned and the nature of the business and business relationships will remain largely the same but the governance structures will change to improve the organisation’s commercial performance.

As a state owned corporation under the direction of a skilled commercial board, Forests NSW will be able to focus sharply on its core business of growing and harvesting timber to meet the community’s needs for hardwood and softwood products while still providing recreational opportunities for the people of New South Wales.”

[Source:  ^http://www.forests.nsw.gov.au/]

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Ed:     So to the O’Farrell Government the forests are only about human needs – a babyboomer mindset, just like in the Old Testament.  “..And God said unto them be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”  [Bible, Old Testament, Book of Genesis 1:28]   ..and humans have been self-righteously buggering the planet ever since.

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<<The many-layered oversight system produces a lot of work for the handful of NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water staff, some of whom have found themselves visiting the same logging sites repeatedly.

Forests NSW stressed that a warning letter can refer to separate breaches, which partly explains why the number of warnings issued to Forests NSW is so much lower than the number of times rules get broken.

Nonetheless, department staff have told the Herald that guidelines are often applied indifferently by loggers and some contractors are serial offenders. Forests NSW has also lost staff through voluntary redundancy this year which, some workers argued, affects its ability to police logging contractors.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Department said logging licences contained ”strict provisions to protect the environment, threatened species and its habitat”. Audits of logging operations are carried out every month as part of its compliance program.

”[The department] is concerned about the number of recent alleged breaches being reported in the south-east of NSW and in response is conducting several comprehensive field audits of Forests NSW work in the region. If any of the alleged breaches are found to be substantiated then the [department] will take appropriate action.”

New spice has been added to the deluge of investigations by the recent so-called ”peace deal” in Tasmania, which saw major logging companies, including Gunns, agree to stop logging in old-growth native forests. The deal also included an effective end to large-scale burning of native timber as a source of renewable energy, a process that is now permitted in NSW. The National Association of Forest Industries said it would oppose any effort to transfer the Tasmanian deal to mainland Australia.

A woodchip company, South-East Fibre Exports, is planning to build the state’s first wood-fired electricity plant at Eden, burning ”offcuts”. The company says opposition to its power plant is driven by people with the broader agenda of ending logging in native forests altogether. This seems likely to be true. South-East Fibre Exports blames anti-logging campaigners for setting up a fake website that mocks the company’s proposal, and a campaigner against the power plant, the former fashion designer Prue Acton, found an electronic bugging device in her home earlier this year. No one knows who is responsible for planting the bug, and there is no suggestion it is linked to the logging dispute. Police are investigating.

The NSW Primary Industries Minister, Steve Whan, said he had faith in the forestry companies and Forests NSW. ”Allegations of ‘systematic damage’ are overstated,” says Whan. ”The majority of the alleged breaches in question are minor in nature – with little to no impact on the environment.”

Former NSW Labor Minister for Minerals and Forest Resources, Steve Whan,
who also had Primary Industries, Emergency Services and Rural Affairs – i.e. politically imposed conflicts of interests.
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In southern NSW, the forestry organisation is regularly scrutinised and was operating within the rules.

Forests NSW southern region has received no penalty notices and not one case has been brought to prosecution for at least the past three years.  ‘As a local member in the area as well as the Minister for Forest Resources, I personally welcome the intense environmental scrutiny that forestry operations in the area are subjected to. It is very important that any logging operations in the region comply with all the environmental conditions in place.”

Documents maintained by Forests NSW staff show there were 13 breaches recorded in south-eastern NSW last year.The breaches include cases of ”lack of care taken by operator”, ”operator did not see marking tape” and ”poor rigour in completing surveys”. Some could be explained by mishaps such as a vehicle slipping on a steep hillside into a protected area. In one case a logging contractor cut down trees in an area marked as ”old growth forest” because a global positioning system device had run out of batteries.

Of the 13 recorded incidents, eight resulted in verbal warnings to forestry contractors and one, in which the estimate of damage made by environment department staff differed from Forests NSW’s, resulted in a warning letter. Environmental damage was in every case assessed to be ”nil” and no remedial action was taken.

In part, the mistakes could be put down to forestry workers working to tight deadlines in rugged terrain.

But anti-logging activists are not prepared to be that charitable. The parallels with the situation in northern NSW are remarkable. In the state forests around Casino and Tenterfield, a group called North-East Forest Alliance has identified damage to stands of trees inhabited by koalas, stuttering frogs, sooty owls, powerful owls, golden-tipped bats and yellow-bellied gliders. The same types of breaches are evident, with contractors failing to follow guidelines about properly marking up vulnerable trees. Trees up to two metres wide at the base were cut down inside an area of rainforest described as a ”special protection zone”.

Five sets of allegations, covering dozens of alleged individual breaches in separate forests, were sent to the Environment Department early this year. Staff undertook a joint investigation with the forestry agency, and Forests NSW said a ”compliance response team” had been established.

South-East Forest Rescue recently surveyed state forests at Mogo, near Batemans Bay, and found recent logging in areas that were supposed to have been preserved, including an Aboriginal cultural site and conservation areas. In a report sent to the government, it alleges that many hectares of forest that should have been off-limits to loggers had been cleared.

The group has also walked through south coast state forests Tantawangalo, Yambulla, Glenbog and Dampier, collecting photographs of logging sites. Earlier surveys of the various regions by the Environment Department show habitat supporting sooty owls, yellow-bellied gliders, square-tailed kites, giant burrowing frogs, bent wing bats, tiger quolls, glossy black cockatoos and powerful owls may have been damaged.

The group’s surveys have been passed on to the Environment Department. The department said its own studies in the area are expected to run until mid-November.  Stone says the group wanted Whan to visit the logging locations they had surveyed.>>

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Koala habitat faces bulldozing in Victoria

[Source:  ‘Super-koala’ habitat faces bulldozing, by Claire Miller, 20051002, ^http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/superkoala-habitat-faces-bulldozing/2005/10/01/1127804696947.html]
Susie Zent in the area slated for road-widening 2005
(Photo: Cathryn Tremain)

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South Gippsland  (2005):

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<<Critical habitat supporting the so-called Strzelecki “super-koala” and endangered powerful owls is to be bulldozed as part of a controversial road-widening project in South Gippsland.

Several hundred trees, many home to koalas and with hollows suitable for nesting owls and other wildlife, will be lost, despite consultants warning the Latrobe City Council that the damp forest habitat is virtually irreplaceable in a region largely cleared of native vegetation.

The local member for Morwell, Brendan Jenkins, is appealing to Environment Minister John Thwaites for an 11th-hour reprieve after local conservationists lost their case in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Latrobe Council wants to widen Budgeree Road so that logging trucks servicing plantations can pass each other. Trucks now travel one way down the road and return via another route. Budgeree Road is also a tourist drive to Tarra Bulga National Park.

The tribunal initially raised strong objections to the project, near Boolarra, in the face of evidence that the council took little account of the vegetation affected, that traffic volumes did not justify the scale of the works, and that a redesign could save most trees. Then, in a surprise turnaround, it approved the project last month with minor amendments.

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‘Strzelecki koalas are a genetically superior group that may hold the key to the species’ long-term survival in Victoria.

All other koalas in the state are descended from a handful of individuals transferred to French Island more than a century ago, a few years before koalas were hunted to near-extinction on the mainland.’

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Ed:  This is a ecological cry of impending Koala regional extinction and a representative indictment of Australia’s deliberate and evil extermination of its wildlife.

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The French Island colony was used to repopulate the state, but inbreeding is now becoming apparent. The Strzelecki koalas, however, appear to be a remnant of the original and genetically diverse mainland population.

The roadside forest is rare in its own right, being of “very high conservation significance”. This category has legislative protection under the Native Vegetation Management framework, and can be cleared only under exceptional circumstances.

The loss of hollow-bearing trees is also listed as a threat under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. Consultants from Biosis Research told Latrobe Council it would be difficult to find other damp forest areas that could offset the loss of roadside remnants.

Susie Zent, from Friends of the Gippsland Bush, said VCAT had set conditions for the roadworks based on a mistaken classification by the Department of Sustainability and Environment as to the vegetation’s significance. She said the VCAT decision could be set aside if the department admitted to an error of judgement and requested amendments to its permit conditions.

Latrobe’s chief executive officer, Paul Buckley, said he expected VicRoads to sign off the final plans within three or four weeks. He said the additional width was needed to improve safety.

A spokesman for Mr Thwaites said the department was waiting for final details from the council, particularly in relation to offset measures. “Offset measures are required to ensure there is no overall loss of areas that have ecological significance,” he said.>>

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Strzelecki Koala Endangered
(South Gippsland Victorian, Australia)

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<<Of major concern due to the logging and clearing activities of both Hancock Timber Resource Group and PaperlinX is the long term survival of populations of the Strzelecki and South Gippsland Koalas whose entire habitat is now owned by these companies.

An investigation carried out by Dr Bronwyn Houlden, School of Biological Science, University of New South Wales, 20th March 1997 and 6th April 1998 confirmed that the genetic pool of these koalas has not been compromised. Dr Houlden indicates that on a national basis koalas generally are not considered to be threatened. She advises that this assessment has unfortunately led to an extremely simplistic view of conservation of biodiversity in the species.

Through extensive analysis by herself and her collaborators she has revealed that the species is composed of highly differentiated populations with low levels of gene flow between populations throughout their range. The Strzelecki Koala population constitutes a separate management unit and is significant in terms of management of biodiversity on a regional and state basis. Dr Houlden found that the Strzelecki Ranges had the highest level of genetic variation, of any Victorian population she has analysed. This is important, given the low levels of genetic variability found in many populations in Victoria, which have been involved in the translocation program.>>

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[Source:  ‘Strzelecki Koala Endangered’, Hancock Watch (conservation group), ^http://hancockwatch.nfshost.com/docs/koala.htm#content_top]

 

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The Critical Habitat Truth behind Hancock Timber Resource Group

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Foreign-owned and controlled Hancock Timber Resource Group,  claims publicly that its Victorian timber plantation operation, Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP) is committed to…

“environmental responsibility is underpinned by the company’s environmental policy and management system, forest stewardship program, best management practices, which include internal and external performance measures, and active community consultation program, working with groups such as Landcare, field naturalists and Waterwatch.”

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Hancock Victorian Plantations claims…

“HVP sets its own high standards, its operations are monitored by local shires, water catchment management authorities, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Victorian Department of Environment and Sustainability. The company is also subject to regular audits to maintain its Australian Forestry Standards (AFS) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications.”Around 70 per cent of HVP’s total landholdings are sustainably-managed plantations, growing largely on land that was previously cleared for farming. The company maintains the remaining 30 per cent of its holdings for plantation protection, conservation and other community values.In the Strzelecki Ranges, HVP has set aside almost half of its land from timber production, managing this native forest for conservation.”

[Source:  ^http://www.hvp.com.au/environment-conservation]

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Editor:   It all sounds wonderful coming from this United States industrial logger. But since when has anyone trusted US corporations?  Read the snapshot log below.

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Road hit female koala with broken jaw. Had to be euthanised after 6 weeks.
Urgent research is required to determine breeding populations, location and numbers. Logging seriously impacts on long term populations of this animal.
[Source:  Hancock Watch,  ^http://hancockwatch.nfshost.com/docs/koala.htm#content_top]

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Snapshot of a month’s logging of Koala Habitat:

[Source:  ^http://hancockwatch.nfshost.com/docs/04sep.htm ]

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South Gippsland, Victoria (October 2002) – systematically being destroyed for corporate profit by United States multi-national ‘Hancock Timber Resourse Group’:

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Jeerlang West Road Strzelecki Ranges

  • Locals outraged by removal of native vegetation – Koala Feed Trees. Koala corridor destroyed. Koalas are now not sited in this area. 8 Koalas have died in this area in the last 12 months.

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Strzelecki Ranges (Jeeralangs)

  • Eucalypts globulus – Bluegum (4ssp.) Southern Blue Gum – subspecies globulus. Restricted on the mainland to South Gippsland and Otways. Road works resulted in logging of older trees. Prime koala habitat destroyed by Grand Ridge Plantations/Hancock. A recent change in management will hopefully result in the end of this type of practice.

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Strzelecki Ranges (Jeeralangs)

  • Prime koala habitat destroyed without permit application by Grand Ridge Plantations/Hancock. Destruction of the rare Globulus globulus.

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93-41 Creswick plantations

  • Creek crossing over Anderson’s Gully which feeds into Creswick Creek. Tullaroop Water Catchment. Drinking water for Maryborough, Carisbrook, Talbot, Adelaide Lead, Alma, Havelock, Majorca and Betley. Sediment enters waterways mainly via creek crossings and roads.

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93-41 Petticoat Plantation

  • Tributary of Anderson’s Gully in the headwaters of the Murray Darling Catchment (Loddon River). Logging machinery driven straight through creekline.

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93-41 Petticoat Creek

  • Closeup of machinery entering tributary of Anderson’s Gully in the Tullaroop Water Catchment. Note build up of sediment which will wash into gully after rain. Note also buildup of stagnant water.

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93-41. Petticoat Plantation

  • Tullaroop Proclaimed Water Catchment. Machinery access into Anderson’s Gully tributary.

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Morwell River East Branch/Strzelecki Ranges

  • Creek crossing with sediment washing into waterway. Note also Slender Tree Fern an FFG listed species.  Australia’s first FSC Assessment team in the Strzelecki Ranges. Discussing roading/landslide issues in the Jeerlangs.

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Traralgon Creek in the Latrobe River catchment (Strzelecki Ranges)

  • Recent pine logging with limited bufferzone in a pine plantation by Grand Ridge Plantations/Hancock. As part of the Friends of the Gippsland Bush/Australian Paper Agreement of 1997, 50 m buffers of native vegetation will be established along Traralgon Creek after pine logging. There were also problems with a creek crossing at this location, which can be seen eroding into the creek in this photo.

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Tributary of Jeeralang Creek with cool temperate rainforest (Strzelecki Ranges)

  • A Myrtle Beech tree is in the centre of the gully. The person in the photo is holding a twig with Myrtle Beech leaves taken from the base of a tree in the gully. According to the 1997 8 Point Agreement 50m buffers along Jeeralang Creek will be replanted with indigenous species. This area should not have been logged at all. Cool Temperate Rainforest needs much greater buffer for its long term protection and survival.

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Jeeralang West Road

  • (Non-plantation) Blackwood and Austral Mulberry cut down along roadside easement which is Crown Land. Logged by Grand Ridge Plantations/Hancock.

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Billy’s Creek Catchment/Strzelecki Ranges

  • Twenty metre buffer should be reinstated at this site as in accordance with Billy’s Creek Water Supply Catchment, Plan no 1870. (Ideally the entire slope should be retired from timber production due to its steepness).

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Billy’s Creek catchment/Strzelecki Ranges

  • 20m buffers should be reinstated in this plantation area.

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Jumbuk Road/ Strzelecki Ranges

  • Logging of roadside buffers/easements. Wildlife corridors destroyed at this site as well as the head of a gully feeding into Billy’s Creek.

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93-29 Scarsdale Plantation  (Woady Yaloak catchment)

  • What is the long term impact on water yield from pine plantations in this catchment?

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93-41 Petticoat plantation (Headwaters of the Murray Darling catchment [Loddon River])

  • Tullaroop Water catchment is currently at 30% of its capacity due to primarily to drought. Hancock logged 223ha of pine in this catchment in 2001/2. Much of the land within the Creswick State Forest has in the past been affected by gold mining activities. Stabilisation of the worst affected areas was achieved with softwood plantations. Will sediment from these mining sites be disturbed by current plantation logging. Tullaroop catchment supplies towns such as Maryborough with drinking water. What is the impact of logging on water quality and quantity in this catchment?

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Korweinguboora Reservoir catchment.

  • Recently logged by Hancock. Note lack of buffer zones for this wetland feeding into the Reservoir. This reservoir supplies Geelong and other towns with drinking water.

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Korweinguboora catchment  (Geelong’s water supply)

  • How can Hancock guarantee that herbicides and fertilser residues will not enter Geelongs water supply? Note lack of buffers surrounding this drainage line.

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A tributary of Creswick Creek in the Tullaroop Water supply catchment

  • Note lack of creek buffer zones and ripping of soil into creek banks. Will herbicide residues enter water from this site? What impact will operations at this site have on quality of water for all species including people? Is this sustainable?

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Tributary of Creswick Creek in Tullaroop water supply catchment

  • Over 200 ha of pine plantations in this catchment were logged in 2001/2. What is the long term effect of fast rotation plantations on water quality and quantity? Pines cut out of creek itself and creek banks at this site.>>

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Bligh Labor Government flogs off Queensland’s forests for $603M to Hancock

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[Source:  ‘State sells off Forestry Plantations Queensland for $603 million to Hancock Queensland Plantations’, AAP, 20100518, ^http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/state-sells-off-forestry-plantations-queensland-for-603-million-to-hancock-queensland-plantations/story-e6freqmx-1225868108050]

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<<The Queensland Labor government has announced the sale of Forestry Plantations Queensland – the first transaction in its controversial asset sales.  Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the 99-year licence for the timber plantation business would be sold for $603 million to Hancock Queensland Plantations.  The sale price is well in excess of the $500 million that had been anticipated.  Mr Fraser said he signed the contract on Tuesday morning.

“By reaching agreement on a price of $603 million, this exceeds original expectations and is great news for Queensland taxpayers,’‘ Mr Fraser told state parliament on Tuesday.  “This is the first of the five commercial businesses to be sold, licensed or leased to the private sector, as the government reforms the state balance sheet and builds a stronger Queensland economy.”

He said award staff would have their jobs guaranteed for three years.  Mr Fraser said Hancock Queensland Plantations, a company managed by Hancock Timber Resource Group on behalf of institutional investors, had won the right to grow and harvest the trees.

Crown plantation land on which the majority of the business sits will remain in government ownership.  The sale includes about 35,000 hectares of freehold land, which is about 10 per cent of the total estate.

Hancock Timber Resource Group manages more than two million hectares of timberlands worth approximately $US8.5 billion ($A9.7 billion) across the United States, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.>>

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NSW Government accused of logging Koala Habitat

[Source: ‘NSW govt accused on koala habitat logging’, 20111118, ^http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8375719/nsw-govt-accused-on-koala-habitat-logging] .

<<The opposition has accused NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker of allowing the logging of koala habitats on the state’s mid-north coast.  Opposition environment spokesman Luke Foley said the minister had received a “scathing” letter from the local councils protesting her decision to allow logging of core koala habitats in the area.

“These councils are traditionally pro-development – but even they are alarmed that Robyn Parker is allowing a national icon to be endangered thanks to her ‘unsound ecological approach’,” Mr Foley said in a statement on Thursday.>>

He said that…

On October 27 Ms Parker said “logging protects koalas”

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Editor:  Robyn Parker has not got a clue about her Environment portfolio.  She is another teacher-turned-politician and clearly insecure.  Last month Parker sacked the head of her department, Lisa Corbyn, and has been through five press secretaries. 

The opposition’s environment spokesman Luke Foley:  “When will Premier O’Farrell do the decent thing and get a new environment minister?”

[Source:  ‘Controversial Environment Minister Robyn Parker creates a climate of change’, by Andrew Clennell, State Political Editor, The Daily Telegraph, 20120121, ^http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/minister-creates-a-climate-of-change/story-e6freuy9-1226249892102]
 
Embattled: Ms Parker – thinks she’s only accountable to herself and Premier O’Farrell.
Picture: Kristi Miller Source: The Daily Telegraph

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New South Wales allowed logging in Koala Habitat

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[Source:  ‘NSW allowed logging on koala habitat’, by Rosslyn Beeby, Science and Environment Reporter, Canberra Times, 20110210, ^http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/nsw-allowed-logging-on-koala-habitat/2072043.aspx]

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<<The NSW Government has allowed 2,000 heactares of koala habitat to be logged at Coffs Harbour in northern NSW, despite a local koala conservation plan endorsed by the local council, a Senate inquiry has heard.

One of Australia’s leading koala researchers, Alistair Melzer, has accused federal environment bureaucrats of doing little to avoid ”an escalating conservation crisis” as koala populations decline.

Dr Melzer, who heads Central Queensland University’s koala research centre, told the Senate environment committee inquiry it appeared that Canberra’s bureaucrats ”do not seem to be sensitive to the real state of the environment”.

The six-month inquiry, into the conservation status and sustainability of Australia’s koalas, is investigating threats to the future survival of the species.

In his submission, former Coffs Harbour City Council deputy mayor Rod McKelvey said the NSW Department of Environment’s private native forestry division granted logging permits which resulted in the loss of 2000ha of ”core koala habitat” protected by the council’s koala conservation plan. Mr McKelvey said the department subsequently argued the plan ”did not fall under” NSW environmental planning policy.

”I do not want to be included in the generation who stood by and did nothing while we systematically destroyed koala habitat, making it almost impossible for them to live here,” he said.

Gunnedah farmer Susan Lyle, who has koalas on her three properties, raised concerns about a mining exploration licence issued for open-cut coal mining in the region.

”Our koalas will be decimated. This mining licence is primarily in isolation and to allow such a development is sheer lunacy … There are many, many other resources that can be used for energy, but there is no replacement for the koala,” she said.

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Federal Forest Enquiry a Sham

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[Source:  ‘Federal Forest Inquiry a Sham’, 20111130, North East Forest Alliance, ^http://nefa.org.au/]

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<<Conservation Group, North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), is outraged at the bias of the Federal House of Representatives report ‘Inquiry into the future of the Australian Forestry Industry’ and its refusal to consider the timber supply crisis and the over-logging of north-east NSW’s public forests.

NEFA spokesperson, Dailan Pugh, said that most of the evidence presented in NEFA’s 111 page submission was ignored by the inquiry on the grounds that it “criticised the industry”. “What they didn’t ignore they misrepresented. This pretend inquiry was a sham” he said.

“The Commonwealth is party to the North East Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) and claims that it satisfies its national and international obligations for the protection of world heritage, national estate and threatened species.

“While national heritage values were meant to be addressed as part of the RFA, they were not, so the Commonwealth gave the NSW Government an extra two years to complete the process.  A decade later and there has still been no assessment and the Federal Government does not care.

“Similarly the RFA was meant to provide protection for nationally threatened species.  The evidence we presented, such as the illegal trashing of a population of the nationally endangered fern Lindsaea incisa at Doubleduke, that was meant to be protected by a 50m buffer, was ignored because we were being ‘critical’.

“What is most astounding is that the inquiry refused to consider the evidence we presented on the current timber supply crisis due to the over-commitment of wood from north-east NSW’s public forests.

“Ever since new Wood Supply Agreements for timber from public land were given to sawmillers in 2004 Forests NSW have not been able to supply the committed volumes,” Mr Pugh said.

“The NSW Government’s recklessness in issuing these new Wood Supply Agreements has already cost taxpayers millions of dollars to buy back committed volumes and to compensate BORAL for Forests NSW’s failure to supply.  As the crisis worsens, taxpayers exposure to multi-million dollar compensation claims grows.

“In vain efforts to meet shortfalls and reduce their payouts Forests NSW have been over-logging plantations, cutting trees before they mature, increasing logging intensities, logging stream buffers, and logging trees and areas required to be retained for threatened species. They are cutting out the future of the industry and causing immense environmental harm in the process.

“It is appalling, that an inquiry dealing with forestry has completely ignored this crisis and recommended that the Commonwealth Government condone and support this grossly unsustainable and irresponsible logging.

“Local Page MP, Janelle Saffin features in the inquiry’s report despite her electorate being one of the worst affected by the timber supply crisis, rampant illegal logging and widespread forest dieback.

“We call upon Janelle to please explain why the Commonwealth continues to ignore the gross over-logging, fails to identify and protect national heritage values, refuses to take action on the illegal logging of the habitat of nationally threatened species and refuses to consider the dieback of tens of thousands of hectares of public forests in her electorate.   She needs to tell her constituents what she is going to do about it”” Mr. Pugh said.>>

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South East Forest Rescue cranking it in south-east NSW

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[Source:  ‘South East Forest Rescue cranking it in south-east NSW’, 20120118, ^http://www.thelaststand.org.au/tag/southeast-forest-rescue/]

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<<South East Forest Rescue have taken some crackerjack action this morning, halting forestry operations with a giant tripod and tree sit structure to highlight illegal logging in the Yambulla State Forest, south of Eden. The logging compartment where breaches have been identified by SEFR contains records of nationally listed endangered species such as glossy black cockatoos, smokey mice, southern brown bandicoots, tiger quolls, eastern pygmy possums, bent wing bats, yellow-bellied gliders, gang gang cockatoos and white-footed dunnarts.

“The response from Forests NSW shows the complete lack of regard for the licence conditions that Forests NSW and their contractors must abide by. The licence conditions for threatened species and habitat conservation are not being adhered to, even though the conditions are grossly inadequate” said forest campaigner Lisa Stone.

“We have reported the breaches in this compartment to the Office of Environment and Heritage,” said Ms Stone.  “We stated last time that the probability of further breaches in this compartment if harvesting continues is high given that this logging contractor is a repeat offender and that FNSW still is not complying with the licence conditions” said Ms Stone.>>

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‘NSW failing to protect koalas: Labor’

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[Source:  ‘NSW failing to protect koalas: Labor’, 20111027, AAP republished in the Sydney Morning Herald,  ^http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/nsw-failing-to-protect-koalas-labor-20111027-1mlnt.html]

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<<The NSW Liberal government is failing to protect koalas by allowing logging in remaining habitats, the opposition says.  Environment spokesman Luke Foley accused Environment Minister Robyn Parker of breaking an election promise to protect koalas after logging went ahead at the Bermagui State Forest on the south coast.

Logging also started last week at Boambee State Forest on the mid north coast, one of the last habitats for the vulnerable species in the area, Mr Foley said.

“For you to fail to respond and fail to intervene is a gross breach of your election policy to protect our national icon,” Mr Foley said at a budget estimates hearing in Sydney today.  “Surely the precautionary approach would be for you as Environment Minister to stop the logging of this key koala habitat?”

Ms Parker denied breaking any election commitments, and said the government was working hard to protect koalas.

“When it comes to forestry, we are about getting a balance and protecting our native species. We are working very hard on them,” she said.  “We have written to Forests NSW recommending a precautionary approach to managing impacts on koalas in the Boambee State Forest…The agreement that allowed logging to take place had been signed by the previous government, Ms Parker said.  “Perhaps you should go back and look at what was going on when your government signed up to that agreement.”>>

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Koala habitat cleared to make way for more houses

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[Source: ‘Koala habitat cleared to make way for more houses’, 20121127 (today), by Nicole Fuge, Sunshine Coast Daily, ^http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/koalas-lose-vital-coast-habitat/1637085/]

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<<More than 100 hectares of koala habitat has been cleared to make way for more houses, another nail in the coffin for one of Australia’s icons.

Work has begun clearing the land behind Aussie World and the Ettamogah Pub for a 334-lot rural residential development.

Despite more than 30% of the 145-hectare site secured for environmental reserve and 12 hectares of revegetation to offset present clearing, Sunshine Coast Koala Wildlife Rescue volunteer Ray Chambers fears it’s not enough.

Mr Chambers said the area’s koala population was already fragile and the removal of so many trees would have a disastrous affect.

“We do have the odd koala in part of the Palmview area, it’s not a great deal but we know they are there,” he said. “From Forest Glen to the Caloundra turn-off is a koala corridor.”

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Mr Chambers said there were only about 100 koalas left on the Coast, representing 18% of the Queensland population.

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A council spokeswoman said despite approval of the development pre-dating an introduction of state-wide regulatory provisions for koala conservation, the council and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officers had enforced koala protection measures and vegetation offsets.

Developer guidelines include:

  • More than 30% of the original site secured in environmental reserve.
  • Traffic calming, speed bumps, and fauna under and overpasses installed to minimise car strikes.
  • Building envelopes to be enclosed with dog-proof fencing, leaving the balance of each lot free for fauna movement.
  • About 12ha of revegetation, including planting koala food trees, to be carried out to offset the clearing.

The spokeswoman said a fauna spotting catcher had also been present during clearing.>>

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Ed:  What chance do Koalas have?

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[Source:  National Geographic, ^http://natgeotv.com.au/tv/koala-hospital/gallery.aspx]

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2 Responses to “Koala Habitat is not a renewable resource”

  1. David Hemsley says:

    Your indigenous species don’t stand a chance.You are getting rid of their habitat by deforestation and removing the ground from underneath them by mining. If nothing is done to stop business/politicions bull-dozing your children’s future, the only thing that will be left of Australia for you and them will desert meeting beaches strewn with paper in the form of dollars that you can neither eat or enjoy by sharing.

  2. David Hemsley says:

    Tell the Australian government they will be ashamed throughout the world if they let this/their Icon disappear from the planet. China stepped in and did research and saved the giant panda from extinction why won’t the Australian Government do the same thing for the Koala?

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