Media Release: Government doesn't get it - logging doesn't protect koalas

In Parliament | 03.06.15

Government doesn't get it - logging doesn't protect koalas

In Parliament today, the Baird government refused to state whether it would allow cable logging in areas containing koalas in the North Coast, as part of a new integrated forestry operations trial announced today.

Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe asked four questions of Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair seeking assurances that logging undertaken in six compartments in the lower North East region of the North Coast - as part of a trial of new timber harvest - would not include cable logging, or any logging in compartments home to koalas.

“Before the election, the government announced a trial of cable logging and a new regulatory framework for timber harvesting,” Ms Sharpe said.

“Cable logging is environmental vandalism and will lead to serious erosion and loss of wildlife habitat.

"While trumpeting a trial supposedly designed to protect threatened species, Minister Niall Blair was unable to guarantee that logging would not take place where koalas had been identified.

“Minister Blair had the gall to say the logging trial is ‘actually all about protecting the environment’ – I’m not sure the koalas in areas to be logged would agree.

“Labor remains committed to protecting our threatened species across NSW.”

A recent Commonwealth Senate Inquiry into the status, health and sustainability of Australia's koala population found that NSW and QLD koala populations are markedly declining, with declines of 80 per cent in some areas.

"This area of the North Coast contains significant koala habitats that could and should become part of a Great Koala National Park,” Ms Sharpe added.

“It is a sad day when a Minister argues that chopping down native trees is the way to protect the koalas that call them home.”