Councillors across the Mid North Coast seek urgent meeting with Ministers over logging

SEVENTEEN councillors, from seven Mid North Coast local government areas (LGAs) including the Nambucca Valley, have sent a letter to NSW Premier Chris Minns, Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe and Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the impacts of native forest logging on biodiversity, water quality and bush fire safety in their LGAs.

Nambucca Valley Councillors David Jones, Susan Jenvey and Ricky Buchanan were signatories to the letter.

Club UrungaAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

The councillors claim that numerous endangered species have taken refuge in unburnt areas of forest that “are currently being logged at an alarming rate”.

With a potentially very hot summer following a hot and dry winter, the councillors are concerned about the effect of bushfires on flora and fauna, some of which has not yet fully recovered from the fires of 2019.

As well as biodiversity being at higher risk of extinction, the councillors assert that tourism and the ‘ecosystem services’ that are relied on for growing food and producing employment might also be adversely affected.

The impact on the water quality of rivers and waterways because of increased sediment load associated with current logging practices is concerning them because, they say, the use of very large harvesting machinery and associated wide roading works are resulting in large loads of sediment sitting above water catchments.

The councillors note that the steep topography of the region, combined with heavy rainfall events, could result in devastating consequences for vital rivers, streams, and wetlands.

They say that anxiety about the ability of water providers to be able to deliver safe and secure water to communities is real in light of the coming dry period and water shortages experienced in the region in 2019.

A major fear is that logging practices will increase the impact of bushfires.

The councillors cite a study by Professor David Lindenmayer from the Australian National University (ANU) that states ”logged forests always burn at greater severity that intact forests” and “logging increases the probability of canopy damage by five to 20 percent and leads to long-term elevated risk of higher severity fire”.

Studies such as this, coupled with the recent severe wildfires in the Northern Hemisphere, have led the councillors to believe that the risk to residents’ lives and property is too high to allow native forest logging to continue.

Bellingen Shire Councillor Dominic King, one of the signatories, said, “The letter supports a motion passed at the Local Government NSW conference in 2022 that advocates for the end of native forest logging in New South Wales.

“A recent visit to Europe highlighted the need for urgent action to halt native forest logging to protect our LGAs.”

A spokesperson for Minister Sharpe confirmed that the letter has been received and that the Minister is considering its contents.

The letter was also signed by Cr Dominic King, Cr Jennie Fenton, Cr Ellie Tree and Cr Jo Brotherton (Bellingen Shire Council), Cr Jonathan Cassell, Cr Sally Townley and Cr Tony Judge (Coffs Harbour City Council), Cr Arthur Bain, Cr Alexandra Wyatt and Leo Hauville (Kempsey Shire Council), Cr Lauren Edwards and Cr Lisa Intemann (Port Macquarie Hastings Council), Cr Greg Clancy (Clarence Valley Council) and Cr Dheera Smith (Mid Coast Council).

By Andrew VIVIAN

Leave a Reply