National Forest Uprising protest in Coffs Harbour

For the third time in four years, environmentalists have protested outside the Forestry Corporation of NSW office in Coffs Harbour.

Today (Wednesday) they rebranded that office as the National Centre for Koala Conservation.

“In doing so we are freeing the staff from the onerous, unsociable, uneconomical and environmental devastating  tasks of converting the most diverse tall eucalypt forests in the world into mechanised tree farms for biomass, based on short rotations of tiny logs of predominantly a single species,” Bellingen Environment Centre spokesperson Ashley Love said.

“The supporters of the Great Koala National Park believe in a just transition for forest workers and that the park will create hundreds more jobs than exist in the current declining hardwood  forest industry.”

Ashley Love said Forestry Corp had lost its social licence to manage the forests.

“Forestry Corporation have increased the level of  destruction of our precious native forests on the North Coast in three ways,” he said.

“Eucalypt forests – they are now clear felling 140,000 ha of the most diverse tall eucalypt forests on the planet, which are among those  recommended for World Heritage assessment by a national panel of experts 20 years ago.

“Old growth forests – they are planning to log thousands of hectares of old growth forests that were identified by a national forest and timber inquiry  as irreplaceable and all recommended for protection 30 years ago.

“Rainforests –  they are planning to log thousands of hectares of rainforest which was identified for protection in the national rainforest conservation program almost 40 years ago.”

The protest was part of a National Forest uprising that saw crowds marching on Parliament House in Canberra, calling for an end to native forest logging by 2020.