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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 1 April 2010
'Manager' Ian Barnes & co implicated in 20 years of past illegal logging of south coast koala, owl, quoll tourism resource?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt


Picture: 1994 cartoon representation of regional forester Ian Barnes undertaking illegal logging at Croobyar State Forest, by public servant and covert activist Geof T.

No wonder there is uproar on the NSW South Coast about logging of a prime tourism resource - a rare yet viable koala colony at Mumbulla, and also precious water supply. We note a protest ripple even as far as USA Today via AAP and London's CCTV9 (video and text). Longer local reports here recently:



Logging starts, koala battle goes on

March 30, 2010

LOGGING has started in a forest containing the only known colony of koalas on the far south coast, despite warnings the work could threaten the marsupials.

Forests NSW began harvesting timber for woodchipping and high-quality logs in the Mumbulla State Forest near Bega. Work is expected to continue for six months.
Conservationists, with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, the Wilderness Society and the Australian Koala Foundation, are setting up a vigil at the site this morning in an effort to stop the logging.
Locals said just last week they had found koala tracks on roads close to the work area. But Forests NSW said koalas had been found in the east of the forest, not in the logging area, which is further west.
The fashion designer Prue Acton, who has battled to protect the koalas and who recently discovered a bugging device, which she believes is linked to her campaigning, on her telephone at her home near Bega, said the work could destroy the patch of habitat left in the area.
''This decision by Premier Keneally to log these critical regional koala habitats comes down to a few jobs in a dying industry and faulty regional forests agreements which fail wildlife, climate and water,'' Ms Acton said.
''What about the extinction of these regional koalas, the sustainability of forests and, ultimately, the planet - our children's future?''
The Greens MP Lee Rhiannon called the logging ''environmental vandalism'' and said it showed that the environment was the ''poor cousin'' to logging in NSW.
''For too long now the NSW government has refused to end the logging of south-east native forests,'' Ms Rhiannon said.
''Stopping chipping will not only save endangered animal communities like the koalas now at the mercy of chainsaws; it will also stop the millions in taxpayers' dollars which flow to subsidising the industry.''

And here is Harriet Swift (pictured below left with Prue Acton) of ChipStop with Green Party MP yesterday also:


31 March 2010

Koala habitat logging blockade back on

Greens MP and spokesperson for South East NSW Lee Rhiannon and Chipstop spokesperson Harriett Swift have called on the NSW government to honour the agreed temporary halt to logging in the Mumbulla Forest by removing all their forestry equipment from the site and returning it to the local depot.

Speaking from the site of the blockade to Ms Swift stated, "Protesters this morning have successfully blockaded the entrances to the planned logging area in Mumbulla Forest that would threaten koala habitat.

"A large turn out of locals are staging this peaceful protest as we have no confidence that the NSW government is committed to protecting the habitat of the last known population of koalas on the NSW south coast and abiding by the agreed halt on logging.

"There are a group of loggers waiting here to start work.

"Forests NSW still have the prohibited zone declaration in place for logging this area, the roads are closed as is usual in any logging operation and the mechanical harvesters and bulldozers are all here, along with the logging trucks and the logging crews.

"So why would we believe the word of Minister Ian Macdonald that logging is on hold.

Ms Rhiannon said, "Premier Kristina Keneally should insist on a moratorium on logging and that has to mean all equipment is removed from the proposed logging area and returned to the local depot.

"Mr Macdonald's past performance as primary industries minister suggests that he will be looking for ways to continue logging. I am not surprised that the locals are continuing their protests and that they don't believe the word of this minister.

"Leaving the equipment in the forest undermines the studies to determine the presence of koalas in the proposed logging area. Evidence of koalas is not going to be found amidst all this disruption.

"Ms Keneally has a chance to take a stand for the environment.

"Surely she does not want the voters to remember her as the Premier who trashed the habitat of koalas," Ms Rhiannon said. 




Yesterday we also contributed with an email to relevant Ministers and Opposition as follows:

Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:42 PM
Subject: Koalas: Croobyar Forest 1994 precedent under Minister Hartcher/NPWS stop work order Re: [Greens-Media] Koala habitat logging blockade back on

In a comparable community blockade involving The Wilderness Society and local Indigenous activists (Paul Ferguson and Winiata Puru) directed by elder Guboo Ted Thomas (RIP) at Croobyar SF 
- where 3 endangered owls (Sooty, Masked, [Powerful] owls) were surveyed in November 1994 (4 months from the state election) -
the Liberal Party Environment Minister Chris Hartcher and the NPWS ordered 3 circular areas of 1km radius each (or maybe 1km diameter? ) for protection from loggers.
Tom McLoughlin, TWS state organiser in  1994, tel. 0410 558838


 Picture: Winiata Puru, forest defender at Croobyar on the south coast in 1994, campaigner for Lake Cowal traditional owners (shown here), and guardian of the Aborignal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 2010. A very fit musically gifted 55 year old champion of environmental and social justice concerns.

As per the email last, we recall another forest area called Croobyar SF back in 1994 north of Mumbulla, in the  "Bateman's Bay Management Area" where illegal logging was being undertaken by the very same government forest 'manager' Ian Barnes for the NSW Govt under then Commissioner Hans Drielsma - now behind the Gunns pulp mill for Forestry Tasmania.

Mumbulla and Yurammie mentioned above falls within the neighbouring Eden Management Area which at least had a quick and dirty Environmental Impact Statement as inadequate as it was. That EIS was overtaken in the early 1990ies by a Parliamentary Inquiry, private members bill sponsored by Clover Moore MP for Bligh, then coarse grade somewhat political "CRA" negotiations over the same Eden MA after the Carr election in 1995.


CRA stands for 'Comprehensive Representative Adequate' being a euphemistic phrase out of the Keating Govt National Forest Policy. These CRAs inevitably led to political 'Regional Forest Agreements' (RFA): Coarse and often dirty decisions as made clear by the article in the SMH today on water and koala resource at risk of being trashed by private logging interests at direction of the redneck State Forest agency. Carr boasted hundreds of new national parks but internal RACAC maps show modest purple areas of new park, next to long time existing national parks in dark green, and even bigger logging area in light green to reveal the truth behind the spin: Refer internal nsw govt RACAC maps posted here.


Ian Barnes in particular has form on forest vandalism:


We've been traversing the Croobyar Forest winning blockade of 1994 and realise there was never any EIS done for the whole Bateman's Bay Forest MA for 20 years, much of that under Ian Barnes control for the NSW Govt logging agency. Thus most logging was illegal for two decades.


Croobyar forest in 1994 is quite comparable to the Redgum forest controvery of today 2009-10 with no EIS despite the 1979 Environmental Planning and Assessment Act requirement, forcing recent litigation and political decision making. In the case of the BB MA in the 90ies Carr resolved the illegality with a political CRA negotiation to forestall legal action and then passed forest legislation in the late 90ies gazumping any legal need for an EIS: Causing a major split in the green movement against any political deal given continued logging threat to the tourism economy, lack of an EIS ever done, and minimal community loyalty to the Eden chipper geographically much further south. 

Picture: Ian Barnes and NSW govt forest agency avoided any EIS for logging public forests in Batemans Bay forests for 20 years despite requirement of the 1979 Environmental Planning legislation.

(In the Redgum situation no intervening forest legislation has ever been passed to gazump need for an EIS under the 1979 Act, hence Premier Rees/Sartor/Keneally have to intervene to resolve the long running illegality there).
This lack of an EIS was a major bone of contention in the 1990ies: The Wilderness Society thought about a legal challenge given there was an EIS for Eden and Corkill legal victory in late 1991 re no EIS done for Chaelundi in the NE.
Conclusion: Barnes is thoroughly unreliable on forest fauna issues given he was willing to operate outside the law for many years up to the late 90ies, in BB MA: Not surprising given he served originally under Commissioner Hans Drielsma who now runs Tasmania Forest Commission promoting the ultra controversial Gunns pulp mill. Dreilsma was effectively run out of NSW by about 1996.


Here is more of that successful Croobyar forest blockade in the lead up to another NSW election 1994-1995. Back then it was then Environment Minister Chris Hartcher who directed his chief bureaucrat Robyn Kruk (yes same one in the news lately) to issue a stop work literally as the police and logging agency were riding in to bust the greenies. We were told later there was only an hour in it:









Posted by editor at 2:14 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 2 April 2010 10:31 AM NZT

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