Media release – 3 July 2012
The federal government must tighten koala protection laws to ensure koalas are not being placed at risk by logging in Boambee Forest on the NSW coast, said Greens Senator and forest spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.
Forestry research organisation Markets for Change today released a report that tracks timber harvested by Forests NSW from Boambee State Forest to a Boral saw mill in Kooklhan and ultimately to the timber used in Harvey Norman’s ‘Naturally Australian’ flooring range.
“If Harvey Norman and Forestry NSW are not protecting our precious koala habitats, as the report indicates, then the federal government must step in to ensure that the recent threatened species listing for koalas is worth the paper it is written on”, said Senator Rhiannon.
“It is a no-brainer that koalas are more important than floorboards. There is enough plantation timber to meet Australia’s floorboard needs without threatening koala habitat.
“Boambee State Forest is core koala habitat on a coastline where koala strongholds are few and far between.
“At the very least, the NSW government should suspend Forests NSW’s logging until there is a detailed population study and plan of management that protects koala habitat.
“In April this year the federal government listed koalas in NSW, Queensland and ACT as vulnerable following a Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry.
“But this federal listing has no teeth where logging operations are conducted under Regional Forest Agreements, such as the logging in Boambee Forest by Forests NSW.
“The Koala Protection Bill to be introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters would throw our iconic species a lifeline in Boambee. This Bill would make it an offence to destroy or harm koala habitat in areas where the koala has been listed as threatened by the Federal Environment Minster.
“I congratulate Markets for Change for undertaking this research and their public campaign to protect our forests”, said Senator Rhiannon.
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