NATURE CONSERVATION COUNCIL OF NSW
NATIONAL PARKS ASSOCIATION OF NSW
COLONG FOUNDATION FOR WILDERNESS
THURSDAY 13 JUNE 2002
Details of the imminent destruction of these forests are contained in State Forests’ 2002-2003 NSW South Coast Region Plan of Operations, released to conservation groups yesterday. These plans demonstrate a clear commitment by State Forests to target the highest conservation value forests in the Southern region this year. This is an act of malice against the community already up in arms over the contentious charcoal factory approval for the ‘Nature Coast’.
When combined with the proposed charcoal production plant at Broulee, which would more than double existing logging levels in the South Coast, the region will face losing a significant part of what makes it the ‘Nature Coast’.
‘The logging industry will be moving into a NSW wilderness icon, after a decade’s absence,’ said Colong Foundation for Wilderness Director, Keith Muir. ‘The upper Deua River Catchment has been identified as part of the Deua Wilderness area, and is the last unprotected wilderness catchment on the NSW South Coast. We have been campaigning for this area’s protection for decades.’
‘They will be logging part of the largest old growth forest in NSW,’ said The Wilderness Society’s NSW Campaign Manager Glen Klatovsky. ‘It is habitat for a dozen threatened species, and was the scene of a Forest Rescue that halted logging there for over eight months last year.’
‘They will be logging along the Clyde River,’ said National Parks Association Executive Officer Andrew Cox. ‘The Clyde is NSW’ most natural and intact river catchment. Logging is known to impact seriously on water quality and flows, on aquatic ecosystems, and on water-reliant industries.’
‘The logging of the Nature Coast is being unwittingly subsidized by the NSW taxpayer. The State Government is giving royalty rebates to logging companies to pollute rivers, kill forests and endangered species to the tune of millions of dollars every year,’ stated Kathy Ridge, Executive Officer of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
‘This Plan will only facilitate the establishment of a charcoal factory on the South Coast,’ said Coastwatchers spokesperson Chris Kowal. ‘They are targeting the majority of the key remaining old growth and wilderness areas available to them. This is an attempt to further degrade the conservation value of the South Coast forests so that there is no reason to protect any more forests.’