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Greens say NSW's South East Forests too precious to lose - Lee Rhiannon visits Tanja State Forest

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 4 Oct 2012

Australian Greens forests spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon will visit the Tanja State Forest tomorrow morning, where a population of koalas have recently been discovered. 

Senator Rhiannon will meet with locals and environmentalists to promote the Greens work that these native forests are too precious to lose.

"Koala habitat in NSW's South East, like that at Tanja, is under threat from native forest logging. While logging has been temporarily halted, the forest surrounding the local koala population is still targeted for woodchipping," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The  Gillard government must close loopholes to its recent 'vulnerable species' listing that mean koalas in state forests are not protected and invest in proper monitoring and enforcement.

"Koalas that are found in our state forests are still vulnerable because the federal government's listing has no effect in areas logged by Forests NSW under Regional Forestry Agreements.

"It is also time the federal government walked away from Regional Forest Agreements which are up for renewal. RFAs are failed vehicles for protecting the environment.

"High conservation forests such as Tanja should be protected but these precious places, and the species that live there, are at the mercy of Forests NSW and the dying woodchip industry. 

"On the horizon are changes to the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act which the Greens are opposing.  

"These so called 'reforms' are a step backward and will water down environmental controls, hand powers to the states and fast track development at the expense of the environment.

"History has shown that successive NSW and federal governments cannot be trusted to act to protect our native forests.  

"The bottom line is that logging in our magnificent Sapphire Coast native forests should end," Senator Rhiannon said.  

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