SAVE THE KOLAS: NSW Greens MP Dawn Walker marches alongside community members through Lismore calling for the RFAs to be scrapped.
SAVE THE KOLAS: NSW Greens MP Dawn Walker marches alongside community members through Lismore calling for the RFAs to be scrapped. Contributed

Greens call for change in NSW logging industry

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are calling on the NSW Government to consider the impact logging has on koala habitat as it reviews current Regional Forest Agreements.

More than 100 people, including several Tweed residents, gathered in Lismore on Tuesday to protest against the Department of Primary Industries' plan to renew the RFAs for a further 20 years citing changes that could threaten endangered koala populations.

Limpinwood resident Suzie Hearder, who is concerned about unauthorised logging on a neighbouring property, said she couldn't understand why the agreement would be renewed.

"The community is really astounded the government plan to renew these RFAs because they clearly haven't been working,” she said.

"The number of koalas have just plummeted in the last few decades. The koalas don't have a chance.

"I have personally seen the koala habitat destroyed here in Limpinwood.”

NSW Greens MP Dawn Walker, who attended Tuesday's protest, said the current RFAs were failing protected environments and wanted them to be scrapped.

"The RFAs have been a manifest failure by allowing over-logging in our precious forests, polluting waterways and destroying vital habitat for threatened species,” Ms Walker said.

"The RFAs were supposed to end the 'forest wars' between communities, governments and loggers when they were signed approximately 20 years ago, but they have resulted in intensified logging and an alarming crash in koala populations by 50 per cent in parts of NSW.

"It is time to move away from this outdated model of forest management and recognise our forests as more than a timber resource to log. We are concerned the government intends to automatically renew the RFAs for a further 20 years without the rigorous studies required to underpin such an extension.”

Meanwhile, Tweed Shire Council will consider seeking legal advice about unauthorised logging at the Hewitville Holdings property in Limpinwood.

Mayor Katie Milne is asking council to investigate whether the property is in violation of any environmental or cultural heritage laws.



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