14 November 2018

Lismore rally to end deforestation in NSW

A group of more than 60 locals rallied outside the Electorate Office of Lismore MP Thomas George today calling on the government to end the deforestation that is driving koalas and other forest species to extinction. 

The rally coincided with the launch in Sydney of a major report on deforestation and land clearing in NSW that named the Lismore region as one of the top 20 hotspots for habitat destruction in the state.

“Our research shows deforestation is worst in areas with some of the most vulnerable koala populations left in NSW,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

“It shameful that the Lismore region, known for biodiversity and koalas, is one of the top areas for forest destruction in the whole of NSW.

“Mr George and the Berejiklian government are putting our water, soils and climate at risk and pushing koalas to extinction with laws that fast-track the bulldozing and logging of wildlife habitat.

“Today’s community protest called on the Thomas George MP and the NSW Government to end the deforestation crisis by strengthening environmental laws and protecting habitat for koalas and other threatened wildlife.

“The north coast has some of the most extraordinary forests in the state. It is unacceptable that the government continues to allow critical wildlife habitat to be bulldozed.”

North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh said: “Native forests are far more important for tourism jobs, recreation, water yields, mitigating climate change and saving our declining wildlife, such as koalas.”

Friends of the Koala president Roslyn Irwin said: “Whilst the immediate cause of death of koalas in our regions are incidents such a disease, car deaths and dog attacks, we know the underlying cause is habitat loss.”

Ms Smolski said 99% of koala habitat on private land in NSW can be bulldozed under new laws the Berejiklian government introduced last year.

“Bulldozing of bushland for agriculture tripled in one part of the state in the first year after the laws were introduced, destroying 5000 hectares of koala habitat in just 12 months,” she said.

“Native forest logging on the North Coast is destroying prime habitat for koalas and other forest wildlife and the Berejiklian government is poised to open up new forests and more sensitive habitat to logging companies.”

Tags

Forests and wildlife

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