Preface By Tom McLoughlin, ecology action sydney early March 2003
The Carr govt
seeks to outflank any negative PR about its other forest destroying policies or plans - like export woodchipping promised
to end by 2000, and a charcoal production plant for the silicon industry at 200-300K tonnes per year [on the south coast]
- by announcing the protection of 65,000 hectares of good north east forest conservation.
Note however that in the
scheme of things more than 500,000 hectares of forest on public and private land has been destroyed since Carr took office
in 1995 - that is landclearing (often illegal) for agriculture, clearfelling for the logging industry - on both public and
[refer for instance to the Big Logging List link on the main index page for forests]
too that this particular group media release from NEFA endorses the use of other precious native forests to make up the shortfall
of timber volumes to industry via the conservation decision.
We at ecology action sydney call this just moving the
bulldozers around on the checker board instead of fundamental reform of the logging industry into existing plantations. Thus
we reject the notion this is a desirable precedent for reform of the industry in NSW and across the country - real reform
out of native forests is our goal.
It is revealing of this underlying reality for instance that at the last election
in 1999 NEFA roundly condemned the Carr govt for its failure to protect many of the forest areas mentioned for protection
now 4 years later. In the interim period logging proceeded apace including in many of the areas named now for protection -
with a list of forest logged or seriously damaged including Pine Ck, Sheas Nob, Jilliby and probably more. Very sneaky of
the Carr govt really.
North East Forest Alliance
c/o Wooli Post Office, Wooli 2462
Phone 02 66 497690
MEDIA RELEASE 2/3/03 - FOREST PROMISE APPLAUDED
The North East
Forest Alliance has applauded the NSW Governments promise of new forest reserves in north-east NSW and congratulated Premier
Carr on his decision.
"The announcement by Premier Carr today promises to finally put an end to logging of oldgrowth
forests on public land in north-east NSW. It is a landmark decision of outstanding significance for forest conservation in
this State. The Carr Labor Government deserves full credit for taking this important step" said Ms Carmel Flint, spokesperson
for the North East Forest Alliance.
It is fitting that this announcement will finally protect Chaelundi oldgrowth.
The Chaelundi struggle involved a now legendary forest blockade and two successful court actions and was arguably the biggest
battle ever waged in NSW over oldgrowth forests. It precipitated a 13 year long campaign to save oldgrowth forests.
the legislation Carr has announced today is actually passed, Chaelundi will be safe and the full protection of oldgrowth forests
on public land in north-east NSW will have finally been achieved" Ms Flint said.
"Premier Carr's announcement is also
a beacon of hope to forest campaigners around the country. It makes it clear that on-going logging of oldgrowth in Tasmania,
East Gippsland and other parts of NSW is completely unacceptable to the populace and increases the pressure for full oldgrowth
protection throughout Australia" she said.
"Premier Carr has also promised to protect 15 of the most outstanding biodiversity
hotspots in north-east NSW. It includes areas such as Whian Whian and Wollumbin which are two of the highest conservation
value areas in the State, Jilliby which is the water supply catchment for the Central Coast and a highly diverse and significant
forest area, and Pine Creek which is the largest koala population in coastal NSW" Ms Flint said.
of core conservation areas such as these will improve the chances of survival for a vast number of threatened species in the
region. It will be especially important for the survival of key species such as the koala, the regent honeyeater, the spotted-tailed
quoll and the yellow-bellied glider" she said.
"The great thing is that this has been done without having any affect
on timber supply to mills in the region. It is a tremendous outcome for conservation which will not adversely affect the timber
industry. Extra sources of timber have been made available to off-set any timber lost as a result of these areas being protected"
Ms Flint said.
"The announcement today brings the work of thousands and thousands of people who have worked to save
oldgrowth forests in the region over the last 15 years to fruition. The on-going support and commitment of the Greens to forest
protection in the region has also kept the forest issue alive and contributed significantly to this outcome" Ms Flint said.
Three briefing notes follow with information on each forest area identified for protection.
For more information
or comment contact Carmel Flint on 0266 497690 or 0429 091971
CONSERVATION VALUES OF ICON AREAS
* Whian Whian
and Wollumbin near Byron Bay, are recognised as one of the most exceptional and outstanding biodiversity hotspots in Australia.
They contain remnants of ecosystems which have been cleared almost to extinction. Whian Whian is water catchment for six major
regional centres including Byron Bay and Ballina.
* Chaelundi near Grafton, is part of one of the largest areas of
tall oldgrowth forest left in north-east NSW, has outstanding conservation and wilderness values, some of the highest densities
of arboreal mammals in the world, and has been the subject of two successful legal challenges and a now legendary forest blockade
which led to the Greiner Government protecting it in a moratoria from logging in 1991.
* Jilliby near Wyong, is the
water catchment for the rapidly growing urban centres of the Central Coast. Government conservation data identifies it as
the principal centre of unreserved biodiversity in lower north-east NSW. It contains 8 poorly reserved coastal forest ecosystems
and 40 threatened and significant fauna species.
* Black Bulga Range near Dungog, contains magnificent oldgrowth forests
in a mosaic of rainforest, tall moist eucalypt forests and dry spotted gum forests. It is an outstanding catchment area of
high importance to many species including the koala and several glider species.
* Bungawalbyn near Casino, is widely
recognised as the centre of the most important habitat for species of the drier forest types in north-east New South Wales.
It is known habitat for the nationally endangered Regent Honeyeater and nationally vulnerable Bush Stone Curlew. It contains
one vulnerable ecosystem and three poorly reserved ecosystems that are a high priority for reservation.
near Glen Innes, is entirely oldgrowth forest and is partly comprised of remnant ecosystems of the New England Tablelands
which have been extensively cleared, including two vulnerable ecosystems. It contains a significant disjunct population of
the Common Wombat.
* Copeland Tops near Gloucester, is a biodiversity hotspot of outstanding regional significance.
It provides known or predicted habitat for more than 40 threatened and significant fauna species nd includes a centre of endemism
for high elevation vertebrate fauna. It is a mosaic of oldgrowth forests and rainforest.
* Little Wonder near Nambucca,
is recognised as a critical elevational gradient and corridor running from the escarpment to the coastal foothill forests.
It is notable for the diverse mosaic of oldgrowth forests, rainforests, rare rainforest suballiances and threatened fauna
and flora which it contains.
* Myall River near Bulahdelah, contains four poorly reserved st ecosystems, a predicted
53 threatened and significant fauna species and rainforest and oldgrowth forest remnants in a mosaic which joins Myall Lakes
National Park to Ghin-doo-ee National Park to the north.
* Pine Creek near Coffs Harbour, is the largest known koala
population on the NSW coast and is uniquely situated to develop into a major tourist attraction between the two growth centres
of Bellingen and Coffs Harbour. It contains five poorly reserved coastal forest types.
* Queens Lake near Port Macquarie,
will provide a critical forested core to the reserve network in the region by forming a link between Lake Innes Nature Reserve
and Queens Lake Nature Reserve. It is a diverse area which is notable for the variety of ecosystems, species and poorly reserved
coastal habitats which it contains
* Sheas Nob - near Grafton, is an important link in the Great Escarpment corridor
from Guy Fawkes River Wilderness to Nymboi-Binderay National Park. It contains a mosaic of rainforest, oldgrowth forest and
other growth stages and provides a critical refuge from the heavy and concentrated logging disturbance which has taken place
all around it.
* Sherwood near Coffs Harbour, is one of the best remaining examples of oldgrowth blackbutt left in
north-east NSW and is vital for hollow dependent fauna in the region and a major potential asset to tourism around Coffs Harbour.
* Tuggolo near Walcha, is a critical oldgrowth and rainforest addition to the existing reserve and includes large
areas of poorly reserved ecosystems which have been heavily cleared throughout the region. It provides habitat for a large
number of poorly reserved, oldgrowth dependent fauna species.
* Chaelundi is adjacent to Guy Fawkes
River NP north-west of Dorrigo. It encompasses 2563ha of which 1287 is loggable.
* Chaelundi is a conservation icon.
It is part of one of the largest areas of tall oldgrowth forest left in north-east NSW, has outstanding conservation and wilderness
values, and has been the subject of two successful legal challenges and a now legendary forest blockade.
* The highest
densities of arboreal marsupials in the world have been found in this area, together with unusually high densities of ground
mammals and top order predators such as the Tiger Quoll, Powerful Owl and Sooty Owl.
* The first protest action started
in 1990 and a successful legal action launched at the same time stopped logging and forced State Forests to produce an Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) prior to logging. It also forced the then Liberal Government to place large areas of oldgrowth throughout
New South Wales in interim protection areas.
* An inadequate EIS was produced and logging started in three forest blocks
in the area in 1991. A blockade was set in place which lasted for over three months and at which more than 230 people were
* The logging was forced to stop again when further successful legal action established that 22 endangered
species would be taken or killed if logging continued. The logging was in breach of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
and Chaelundi was described in the judgement as "a veritable forest dependent zoo".
* This caused major political turmoil
and resulted in the first endangered species legislation, the Endangered Fauna (Interim Protection) Act 1991, being passed
by parliament against the Government's wishes.
* The wilderness portion of this Chaelundi proposal includes some inadequately
reserved ecosystems, it was all recognised by the Government for reservation in the JANIS outcome and it is almost entirely
above threshold of National Estate for a high to very high number of natural values.
* The corridor section includes mostly
inadequately reserved ecosystems and a large proportion of oldgrowth forest. The majority of the area is identified as being
above threshold of National Estate for a high to very high number of natural values and it includes 3 known records of the
nationally endangered Hastings River Mouse with most being modelled habitat for such.