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Koala Habitat Continues to be Logged in New South Wales

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

In May 2023 conservationists from the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) warned that 41,000 hectares of nationally important koala habitat had been identified for potential logging on the north coast of NSW in the region's 12-month logging plan.

A koala hanging to the top of a tree which has been felled with the text "Koalas in New South Wales" foregrounded.

This includes areas of the proposed Great Koala national park and large areas of forest outside it such as Double Duke state forest. About 9,000 hectares of this were in areas where there was already active logging. President of NEFA, Dailan Pugh, has called on both the NSW and federal governments to stop logging completely in areas identified as important koala habitat.

The threat status of koala populations in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland was upgraded to endangered in 2022 due to the species' continued decline due to land clearing and the Black Summer Bushfires. In contrast to the NSW government, the Victorian government has announced that it will end logging in its native forests by December 2023, six years earlier than originally planned.

A spokesperson for the NSW Forestry Corporation stated that their operations followed detailed planning processes, including mapping and ecological surveys specifically to "identify and protect environmental features." The spokesperson went on to describe the limited amount of logging conducted compared to the available area and highlighted how trees are protected:

“Each year around one per cent of the areas available for timber production are harvested and regrown, which in a normal year is about 10,000 hectares on the north coast including native forests and hardwood timber plantations....Operations in native forests are always selective, thousands of habitat and feed trees are protected throughout operations specifically for koalas, and every tree harvested is regrown.”

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