NSW Greens forests spokesperson Dawn Walker has called for the immediate suspension of logging operations in the Gladstone State Forest near Bellingen following the discovery of a breeding population of koalas in the area.
“The NSW Premier needs to step in and immediately suspend logging operations in the Gladstone State Forest if she is serious about protecting our declining koala populations on the mid-north coast,” said NSW Greens MP, Dawn Walker.
The call comes after investigations by the North East Forest Alliance and the Kalang River Forest Alliance identified the presence of a breeding koala colony.
Inspections by the Kalang River Forest Alliance last weekend found fifteen trees with scats from mother and baby koalas in the Gladstone State Forest, including a pair of Tallowwoods with a significant 380 scats under them, indicating frequent and recent use.
“I have written to the Premier, urging her to take immediate action to protect vulnerable koala populations in the area,” Ms Walker said.
“Koala populations have plummeted by over 30 per cent over the past two decades and by 50 per cent on the North Coast due to under-regulated logging operations causing habitat loss and fragmentation.”
“Logging plans should immediately cease in the Gladstone State Forest. Unless urgent action is taken and short-sighted logging operations like this stop, this government risks presiding over the extinction of koalas in NSW,” said Ms Walker.