A blockade to prevent logs from being removed from known high value koala habitat in Gladstone State Forest, near Bellingen, was yesterday broken up by police.

Gladstone is contained within the proposed Great Koala National Park[1], and the blockade was triggered by the finding of hundreds of koala scats in 2017 highlighting the importance of the area for koalas.

NPA CEO, Alix Goodwin said, “The need for the Great Koala National Park is self-evident.

“There is something wrong when a country like Australia allows logging to occur in an area of forest that has been clearly demonstrated to be occupied by koalas.

“How would we react if the Ugandan Government logged gorilla habitat, or the Chinese Government logged panda habitat?

“Yet, for some reason, the NSW government appears to be indifferent to logging koala habitat, despite koala populations in northern NSW plummeting over the last 20 years[2].

“It is a national shame that the Commonwealth koala conservation strategy lapsed in 2014, and we’re still waiting for the NSW koala strategy after the NSW recovery plan lapsed in 2013.

“And in the absence of these strategies, the NSW government is pressing on with extending Regional Forest Agreements; agreements which will allow the continued logging of koala habitat in state forests along NSW’s eastern seaboard.

“We stand with the community members who have risked arrest and heavy fines for the last month and call on the Environment Minister to gazette the Great Koala National Park immediately.

“We know that protected areas protect species[3], and we know that koalas like big trees[4] and mature forests[5].

We must protect koala habitat if we are to have any chance of reversing recent population declines.”


Media contact: Alix Goodwin, CEO: 9299 0000


[2]Table 4: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12400

[3]“Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide”: https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms12306

[4]Table 1: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7041/suppinfo/nature03551_S1.html

[5]Pages 75-76: http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/resources/forestagreements/koala-habitat-mapping-pilot-160038.pdf