Loggers attempting to make park unviable as koala sanctuary

Nature Conservation Council

June 13, 2024

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today released analysis showing up to 19,000 hectares of forest in the proposed Great Koala National Park is at risk of destruction by Forestry Corporation NSW before April next year.

Forestry Corporation’s Planning Portal shows the forest compartments on the chopping block before the Great Koala National Park boundaries are finalised.

NCC has developed this interactive map to show past and planned logging in the proposed park that has been identified as home to one in five of the state’s koalas.

“Forestry Corporation have been destroying vast swathes of habitat in the proposed new park, right as it’s being assessed for inclusion,” Nature Conservation Council NSW Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Mumford said.

“The fact is that this is some of the most important intact koala habitat in the state and it should be protected, not put on the chopping block, while decisions are made about the National Park.

“It is untenable that so much has been destroyed, and will be destroyed in the coming year, before these areas have been assessed.

“We don’t want to see one more hectare destroyed in this park. We need to see a moratorium on logging in the proposed park now.”

The new analysis reveals Forestry Corporation is continuing its desperate attempt to take as much timber as possible before the park is protected.

Our interactive map showing the compartments in FCNSW’s harvest plan is available here . Click layer, ‘logging since 2003’ to view a comprehensive logging history.

Statements attributable to Jacqui Mumford, Chief Executive Officer of Nature Conservation Council NSW:

“NSW Labor came to power more than a year ago with a key election promise – to protect koala habitat on the Mid-North Coast of NSW, and we are still yet to see it.

“Over the past year Forestry Corporation has continued to decimate the forests that are being considered for inclusion in the park.

“This area will become a national park and we need to be protecting its values.”

Last year after sustained community pressure, Environment Minister Penny Sharpe declared a moratorium on logging within ‘Koala Hubs’, effectively protecting 5% of the proposed park.

“Leaving 95% of the proposed park vulnerable to logging is simply not good enough to ensure the survival of koalas in the wild.

“If we don’t stop them, Forestry Corporation will destroy the park before it is protected.

“This is an area that is home to one in five of the state’s surviving koalas.

“With this species on the brink of extinction, we can’t afford another year of destruction of this key koala habitat, otherwise come 2050 we might have a Great Koala National Park without any koalas.

“It’s long past time for the NSW Government to commit to a moratorium on logging within the proposed boundaries of the Great Koala National Park.

“The government knows this park is going to happen. Forestry Corporation knows it’s going to happen. Allowing logging to continue is an abandonment of these forests and the reason they were identified as being worthy of protection.

“If the government is serious about ensuring koalas exist in the wild beyond 2050 then a moratorium on logging in the proposed Great Koala National Park, where a fifth of the state’s koalas live, is an urgent necessity.”

Statement ends

/Public Release. View in full here.