Skip navigation

Gumbaynggirr Elder violently arrested in Newry State Forest

profile image
Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
11 August 2023

11 August 2023 - The conflict in Newry State Forest on the Mid-North Coast has further escalated overnight as NSW Police violently arrested and locked up Gumbaynggirr Elder, Bumajin, after he attempted to perform Ceremony in the forest. The arrest is the latest incident in an ongoing conflict brought on by the NSW Government at Newry who have commenced logging operations in a State Forest essential to the Minns Government promised Great Koala National Park and sacred lands of Gumbaynggirr people. 

Greens MP and spokesperson for the environment Sue Higginson said: “The fact that the NSW Government is arresting and locking up First Nations people so they can destroy their sacred lands is completely horrific. We’re talking about a forest that Gumbaynggirr totem animals are dependent on for survival and Elders are doing everything they can to protect them. The Government is ignoring them and forcibly removing them so they can destroy this precious forest. 

 

“Bumajin was performing Ceremony on public land, his land at Newry. NSW Police, defending the interests of the NSW Government, violently arrested him and held him in police custody overnight. Meanwhile, the State continues to destroy the precious forest and the forest dependent species that live in it. We have reached a point that this has gone far enough. This is absurd decision making by the NSW Government - they have committed to making these forests a national park but they’re sending in the police to commit violent acts against First Nations people in the name of breaking their own promise. 

 

What is happening at Newry with respect to the Gumbaynggirr Elders and community is unbelievable. The disrespect being shown is disgraceful. The Elders with cultural authority have been cast aside, manhandled by police and ignored by the Forestry Corporation in their direct pleas to stop and listen to them. This has got to end. The NSW Government has the ability to fix this problem right now, but they’re refusing to take action and make good on their promised Great Koala National Park. 

 

“There are actions going on around the country today and tomorrow calling for our native forests to be protected. The campaign to end logging our public native forests is stronger than ever in NSW. The only ones who seem to be unable to hear the loud, clear calls of the community are the Premier and the Minister. It is not politically, environmentally, socially or economically defensible to keep logging these forests. The harm and conflict that has been created is completely avoidable and within the power of the NSW Government to stop. This madness must end.” Ms Higginson said. 

 

Bumajin was granted bail this morning and now faces court at a later date. 

 

profile image
Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
11 August 2023
SHARE:

THE LATEST NEWS

2023 End of Year Wrap

As we near the end of 2023 here's a look back at just some of what we've managed to achieve together for our forests, climate and democracy. In March, after 12 years of Coalition rule we saw Labor just scrape in the numbers to form a minority Government. For many of...

Bombshell report recommends the end NSW Government’s Biodiversity Conservation Fund

19 December 2023 - The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has today released its annual report into the NSW biodiversity credits market, while the review claims not to address the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation in NSW it recommends the controversial Biodiversity Conservation Fund be phased out. It also...

Culture of police impunity and misconduct must be challenged in light of more evidence

15 December 2023 - New evidence of police impunity and misconduct has been revealed in relation to the NorthConnex car crash in May of this year. In the wake of internal documents obtained yesterday by Greens MP spokesperson for justice Sue Higginson, it has now been revealed that the senior...

Kathleen Folbigg Exonerated

14 December 2023 -  The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has today quashed the convictions of Kathleen Folbigg, who was convicted for the deaths of her four children in 2003. Ms Folbigg has maintained her innocence the entire time. She was pardoned in May after an inquiry into her convictions found...


CAMPAIGNS