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Critical Koala Habitat protected from logging: NCC welcomes moratorium of logging

12th September 2023 

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, today welcomes the announcement by Ministers Sharpe and Moriarty that critical koala habitat in the future Great Koala National Park will be granted immediate protection from logging.  

“This is a historic step forward by the Minns Government.  “From today, 8400 hectares of the most important koala habitat in the world will be protected from logging,” said Nature Conservation Council acting CEO Dr Brad Smith. 

The NSW Government today announced the process to establish the Great Koala National Park, as well as a halt to timber harvesting operations in the 106 koala hubs within the area being assessed for the park. 

As the NSW government notes “The 106 koala hubs cover more than 8,400 hectares of state forest. Koala hubs are areas where there is strong evidence of multi-generational, high-density populations of the iconic animal. Koala hubs cover approximately 5% of the Great Koala National Park assessment area, but contain 42% of recorded koala sightings in state forests in the assessment area since 2000. 

The move comes after analysis by the Nature Conservation Council released in June found that 17.7% of state forest that constitutes the Great Koala National Park proposal was to be targeted for logging over the next 12 months – a 300% increase on the previous two years.  

Critically, the analysis found that logging was planned in areas the NSW government has identified as the most important areas of koala habitat in NSW (OEH Koala Hubs) including Wild Cattle Creek, Clouds Creek, Pine Creek and Boambee State Forests. 

"This is a big win for the environment movement, koalas and the forests of the mid north coast” Dr Brad Smith, NCC Acting CEO said. 

“What we’ve seen today is Ministers Sharpe and Moriarity recognise and respond to the community who want to protect their local forests, koalas and First Nations heritage from the devastating impact of logging.”  

“This decision is a win for the people of NSW, who rallied, protested and demanded better - in some cases tying themselves to the giant trees that will now remain standing. “ 

“This decision is also a recognition that logging has a devastating impact on koalas and biodiversity. We applaud them for ensuring that the most important areas of koala habitat in NSW be protected.” 

“Protecting the most precious 5% of the Great Koala National Park area gives these koala populations a fighting chance.  

“Of course we’re also concerned about the remaining 95% of the proposed park area, and we look forward to working through that assessment to ensure it’s also protected from logging as soon as possible. 

“We also welcome the confirmation that 8400 hectares constitutes 5% of the park, meaning the Minns Government is delivering on their election promise by assessing all 175 000 hectares of forest that constitutes the Great Koala National Park proposal.” 

Statement ends 

Media notes – See here for a full map of the Great Koala National Park.  

White outline is entire area of the park. Green outline is the state forest proposed to be protected as national park. White dots are koala hubs that will now be protected from logging. Red are areas that were proposed to be logged as of August 2023.  

NCC will be running a series of workshops of the coming months to support people to monitor, report and stop illegal logging activities.  More information available here. 

Media contact: Clancy Barnard 
E: [email protected]  Ph: 0438 869 332 

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