Coffs Harbour Greens spokesperson, Councillor Sally Townley and NSW Greens MP, Dawn Walker have called for an immediate halt to logging in core koala habitat in State Forests in the Coffs Harbour region.
“There is compelling evidence that NSW Forest Corporation is not following its own guidelines and has targeted high quality koala habitat by increasing logging intensity since 2010. The area from Coffs Harbour to Kempsey contains the most significant koala colonies in Eastern Australia and almost half of the suitable habitat is located in State Forests. It is in this area that we have the best chance of conserving koalas, in the long term, if we protect their remaining habitat now” said Councillor Townley.
NSW Greens MP and Forests spokesperson, Dawn Walker echoed the calls to end native forest logging in the Coffs Harbour region and highlighted the findings of the 'Clearing Koalas Away' report by conservationist Dailan Pugh, which found that approximately 23,000 hectares of koala habitat on the NSW Mid-North Coast has been destroyed by logging operations.
“The report reveals the devastating impact of forest logging policies promoted by the Liberal-National State Government, which are clearly driving our koalas towards extinction.
"Intensive native forest logging is completely inappropriate on the North Coast, which has already suffered a 50% reduction in koala populations over the last 20 years, primarily due to habitat loss.
"The State Government will be presiding over the extinction of wild koalas in NSW unless they end logging in our public native forests and move to establish a Great Koala National Park to protect some of the best remaining koala habitat left in NSW.
"Figures obtained by the Greens in 2015 show that NSW taxpayers lost more than $40 million from logging NSW’s native forests over the previous 4 years. Plantation timber on disused agricultural land demonstrates much better economic performance, without the same environmental and social impacts that native forest logging has.
"It's tragic that we are logging koalas to extinction for an industry that isn't even economically viable" said Greens MP, Dawn Walker.