Kalang Residents Concerned About Logging Expansion Around Headwaters

The Kalang River Forest Alliance is concerned that forestry operations will foul vital waterways (Mark Graham)

MEMBERS of the Kalang River Forest Alliance are passionate about protecting the area that feeds the Bellinger, Nambucca and Kalang Rivers from potential damage by logging.

Kath Kelly, spokesperson for the Kalang River Forest Alliance, said, “The Kalang Headwaters are renowned and well scientifically-documented as being incredibly steep and prone to massive erosion and destabilisation following mechanical disturbances.

“Bulldozing done by the Forestry Corporation (FCNSW) in response to the Andersons Creek fire in late 2019 has shown us how vulnerable this landscape is, with massive erosion, sediment pollution of the Kalang River and extensive destabilisation of this landscape caused by these works.”

“Recent flood events have caused major landslips and mass movement in areas of historical logging disturbance,” Ms Kelly said.

According to Ms Kelly, the FCNSW ‘PlanPortal’ indicates that the area of the Kalang Headwaters to be logged has doubled by 192 hectares compared to a few years ago.

The Alliance’s view is that, if the current logging plans of the Forestry Corporation proceed then the Kalang River will be irreversibly degraded, harming the environment and the immediate economy.

Ms Kelly said the forests, as well as being native species habitat, are also the lifeblood of local agriculture, with lots of fruit and vegetables grown in the valley.

She said they are also critical to the future of local recreational and commercial fishing industries and the tourism industry, which is the major industry underpinning the economy of our region.

Ms Kelly said it is vital to prevent industrial logging in the extremely steep landscape of the Kalang Headwaters to avoid landslips, erosion and pollution of the Kalang River.

The Alliance points to mounting evidence that forest logging operations of FCNSW are financially unviable and loses millions of taxpayers’ dollars annually.

They say that money allocated recently for forestry road construction is more than enough to buy out all current wood supply contracts, remediate existing landslips and land degradation and facilitate the eradication of weeds across the headwaters.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh indicated that the Alliance’s fears are unfounded.

“There are strict rules and regulations to protect the environment backed by a rigorous enforcement regime,” Mr Singh said.

“Currently, we need forestry products until we find suitable replacements for timber products.”

He pointed out that current replacements for structural timbers such as steel and aluminium have their own environmental issues because of processes such as mining and smelting.

He also said money allocated for forestry roads is for road and bridge repairs in State Forests, for all uses, from forestry to ecotourism.

The Alliance has called on James Griffin, the Minister for the Environment, to gazette the Headwaters Conservation Reserve to ensure that the Kalang Headwaters are protected, water security is maintained, taxpayers’ money is saved and the extinction of koalas and Greater Gliders is halted.

By Andrew VIVIAN

One thought on “Kalang Residents Concerned About Logging Expansion Around Headwaters

  1. To put a community’s water supply at risk is despicable. Our state gov’t representatives have no loyalty to their constituents. They put the activity of forestrycorp way ahead of of the well-being of the people living in the communities effected by logging

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