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Community and Councillors rally to save Kiwarrak State Forest from Logging

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024

1 March 2024 - Community members from Tinonee have met today with representatives of the Purfleet/Taree Local Aboriginal Land Council and Mid Coast Councillor Dheera Smith at the Kiwarrak Mountain Trail-bike Park to call for an end to the plans for logging in Kiwarrak State Forest and the establishment of a permanent flora reserve.

Logging is set to commence on March 1 in Kiwarrak State Forest despite community lobbying and campaigns which have delayed harvesting near the MidCoast village of Tinonee since November. Requests for a meeting with the NSW Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, have been refused by the Minister.

Friends of Kiwarrack and forest activist Clare Rourke said ”We are proposing a new designation for several compartments within Kiwarrak State Forest to allow conservation of precious flora, fauna and habitat,”

“A new designation would still allow the popular mountain bike trail riding as well as a host of nature-based activities such as bush walking and forest regeneration,”

“Logging would not be permitted which would allow the forest to grow and foster our koala communities as they recover from the devastating 2019,”

“The Kiwarrak is also the home of a rare endangered orchid which could be nurtured under the new designation,”

Mid Coast Greens Councillor Dheera Smith said “Our Council will shortly release a Koala Conservation Strategy which maps the high population of koalas in Tinonee and its adjacent forests and private lands,”

“The community was devastated by the 2019 black summer bushfires. To log now will only harm the rebuilding of koala populations and important native habitat and diminish the possibilities of an accessible urban forest for Tinonee residents and visitors now and in the future,”

NSW Greens MP and spokesperson for the Environment Sue Higginson said “This is a clear case where the community has got it right. This forest must not be logged, it must be protected,”

“It makes no environmental or social sense to destroy this public forest. I am appalled that the Environment Minister has refused to meet with the community after they have worked so hard to present the case for this area to be managed for conservation and recreation,”

“If this forest is logged, it will fly in the face of Minister Sharpes promise to prevent the extinction of koalas, an animal that will go extinct in the wild by 2050 without additional protections,”

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024


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