Council calls for State Gov't to halt logging in Limpinwood
PROTESTORS have thrown their support behind Tweed Shire Council's call to the New South Wales Government to put a halt to a logging operation in Limpinwood.
During Thursday's council meeting, Tweed Mayor Katie Milne called for urgent action to be taken after raising concerns that logging company Hewitville Pty Ltd was impacting on koala habitat and potential cultural heritage areas.
The council unanimously agreed to write to the State Government asking for a temporary halt to all logging operations on the property and conduct a comprehensive compliance audit to see if the business is complying with the environmental and cultural heritage values.
The decision was made after Boormans Rd resident Susie Hearder, who lives next door to the property in question, said after 25 years of living on her 200 acres she had seen her first koala just weeks after the logging operation began.
"I've found a koala on my property and ... I've never seen or heard a koala but since the logging has started, that's when I saw one,” Ms Hearder said.
Ms Hearder said she had also raised the matter of safety on the roads with council, explaining that she felt unsafe driving on the roadway because of the size of the logging trucks.
"It's a safety factor for anyone going via Chillingham to Mur'bah because there's these huge logging trucks going down those very sharp bends of Chillingham and Boormans Rd,” she said.
Cr Milne said she was astonished to see the lack of planning documents required by the State Government when providing the forestry licence to the logging company and called for stricter guidelines.
"It's really quite astounding the lack of detail done and studies for the forestry licences,” she said.
"We (previously) refused a DA on water mining on Urliup Rd because there were safety concerns about the blind corners that would have put the community's safety in jeopardy.
"I can't see why that in one situation an operator is required to jump through hoops of a traffic study.”
Among a crowd of around 15 protesters calling for a logging ban outside of the council chamber in Tweed Heads on Thursday. Environmentalist Scott Sledge urged the State Government to act quickly.
"It's a very important koala corridor and just to have it logged for the sake of a few thousand dollars is just shocking,” he said.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority confirmed it had monitored the operation since its commencement to check compliance with the private native forestry code of practice.
"This has included three site visits since May 2107,” an EPA spokesperson said.
"The EPA will continue to work with the landholder and contractors to ensure the operation complies with the rules.”