MEDIA RELEASE: “Koalas are worth more than timber”: damning logging survey shows community groups are picking up the slack of NSW Government’s environmental incompetence, says Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson
A critical new logging survey shows environmental community groups are doing more than their fair share and it’s time for the NSW Government to act, Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party, Mark Pearson, has warned.
“The NSW Government is consistently failing the environment, leaving community groups to desperately try to prove the worth of individual habitats,” Mr Pearson said.
“It’s a credit to the passion of local communities and environmental groups, but it’s a mark of shame against this government’s name. It’s obvious to everyone except the NSW Government that the value of native habitat goes far beyond the wholesale price of timber.”
Mr Pearson’s comments come with the announcement that geographic information systems (GIS) survey work has revealed that logging operations in the proposed Kalang Headwaters Conservation Reserve will impact more than 1,0000 hectares of forest of high conservation value.
This includes 700 ha of rare and threatened sub-tropical lowland rainforest, and more than 300 ha of old growth forest.
The survey work was carried out by Friends of Kalang Headwaters, who last year launched a reserve proposal encompassing forests of the Upper Kalang, Middle Bellinger and Nambucca Rivers.
“I commend Friends of Kalang Headwaters for their tireless work and I urge the government to heed their call for a conservation reserve,” Mr Pearson said.
In November, Mr Pearson visited the Mid North Coast to launch Friends of Kalang Headwaters’ proposal of a new nature reserve for the Upper Kalang, Middle Bellinger and Nambucca Rivers regions, area that is currently public land.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this momentous event and lend my voice to such a vital project,” Mr Pearson said at the time.
“Friends of Kalang Headwaters have really got it right: we need to protect forests for all the animals who call them home. Koalas in particular need all the friends they can get right now, particularly on the mid-north coast where a third were killed by the Black Summer bushfires.”
In 2020, Mr Pearson sat as Deputy Chair of a parliamentary inquiry into koala populations and habitat in NSW.
The inquiry found koalas could be extinct in NSW before 2050.
The inquiry tabled 42 recommendations including creating new national parks and ruling out logging of trees in old growth forests.