Thursday 18 November 2021


 North East Forest Alliance


15 November 2021


Logging is underway in compartments 3&4 of Cherry Tree State Forest, on the Richmond Range near Mallanganee.

NEFA has written to the EPA and Minister Kean asking this logging to be stopped until outstanding issues are dealt with. It is particularly concerning that buffers are not being applied to rainforest given that it is known that logging significantly increases the risk and intensity of fires, and 30% of north-east NSW’s rainforests were burnt in the 2019/20 wildfires, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

“As Koalas are present in the area there needs to be surveys to identify core Koala habitat for protection.

“The Richmond Range represents the divide between the Richmond and Clarence Rivers, with most of the logging area draining into the Richmond River. Protection of these headwater streams on steep country is particularly important to the health of these rivers. Regrettably the stream buffers have been significantly reduced, increasing logging impacts on water quality.

“NEFA audited logging of the northern part of this planning area in 2015 and identified widespread and systematic breaches of the logging rules, from which the EPA identified 66 cases of non-compliance with legal requirements for threatened plants, rainforest, habitat trees, tracks, streams and threatened fauna.

“The outcome was that the EPA issued 2 Penalty Infringement Notices ($2,000 fine), corrective action requests, and 47 Official Cautions for non-compliances. This is nothing, particularly as they got away scot free for many.

“We are now asking for compensatory habitat protection for the illegal logging of some 95 hectares of Endangered Ecological Communities and hundreds of hollow-bearing trees, as well as excessive canopy removal in habitat of the Endangered Black-striped Wallaby,“ Mr. Pugh said.

NEFA’s report requests that before logging proceeds:

• The Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan needs to be complied with

• Wide buffers need to be placed around rainforest and related vegetation

• Canopy retention needs to be increased to mitigate impacts on the Black-striped Wallaby and to compensate for the past excessive logging

• Compensatory areas need to be retained for the 91.3 ha of the EEC Grey Box-Grey Gum Wet Sclerophyll Forest illegally logged

• All hollow-bearing trees need to be retained to compensate for the hundreds illegally logged

• The identified Wildlife Habitat Clumps need to be redesigned to maximise inclusion of the best habitat and remove overlaps with existing exclusions and heavily logged areas

• Areas susceptible to Bell Miner Associated Dieback need to be identified and excluded from logging.

NEFA has asked that all logging be stopped until these issues are fully dealt with.

Wednesday 10 November 2021


For months before the Glascow climate conference the Federal Government was under pressure from our allies to improve its climate action.  Even though the Prime Minister eventually secured the federal Nationals’ reluctant support for an Australian target of net zero emissions by 2050, Australia’s climate policy remains completely inadequate. 

All the Australian states and territories, regardless of the political party in government, have committed to net zero by 2050 and are working to limiting their carbon emissions.  Some have ambitious intermediate targets.  NSW, for example, recently announced it would reduce its emissions to 50% below its 2005 level by 2030.

At Paris in 2015 the Federal Government committed to a 26-28% cut by 2030. Because scientists believe greater cuts are needed in the next 10 years to keep warming below two degrees, other nations have substantially increased their intermediate targets for Glascow.   However, Prime Minister Morrison refused, saying he had made a commitment to the Australian people to leave it at that level.  The real reason is likely to be the Nationals’ strong opposition to any increase.

As it happens Australia is likely to do better than the 26-28% reduction - but that will be the result of action by the states and territories - not from the climate laggards in Canberra.

Recent polls show Australians are increasingly concerned about climate change and want more effective government action.  That is not surprising given the catastrophic bushfires, extreme weather events and lengthy droughts of recent years.  The reality of the climate crisis is forcing more people to take notice.

Business too is taking action to deal with climate risk and limiting its emissions as well as advocating more government action. The Business Council of Australia (in contrast to its comments before the 2019 election) supports net zero by 2050 and wants the government to increase its 2030 target to 46-50% below 2005 levels.

Despite the urging from our allies as well as from an increasing numbers of concerned Australians and a wide range of business interests, the Prime Minister went to the Glascow climate conference with a completely inadequate climate “plan” which unsurprisingly failed to impress.

At the conference the Australian Government refused to sign a pledge to cut methane emissions, as well as dismissing calls to phase out coal and improve its 2030 targets.

The Federal Government remains an outlier both at home and among major advanced economies, locked in to its obsession with gas and coal.

    Leonie Blain