Knitting Nannas unite to protest Forestry Corp in Coffs Harbour

Knitting Nannas Coffs Harbour Loop gather for its first Friday peaceful protest outside Forestry Corporation’s Coffs Harbour office on Park Street.

THE Knitting Nannas are gathering for peaceful protests outside Forestry Corporation’s (FC) Coffs Harbour office at 30 Park Avenue every Friday.

The purpose is to raise awareness of the work of Forestry Corporation across the Coffs Coast’s native state forests, notably Newry, Conglomerate and Orara East State Forests, and the region’s plantation forests.

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“We’re calling for a moratorium on native forest logging until the borders of the proposed Great Koala National Park (GKNP) are established, after which no logging will be done in forests that fall into that protected area,” activist Chris Degan from Knitting Nannas Coffs Harbour told News Of The Area.

The Knitting Nannas launched their protest outside Forestry Corporation’s Coffs office on Friday 14 April.

In their ‘sit and knits’ they are aiming to show people what is happening in local forests by sharing ecological facts, citizen science and lived experience.

The group is pointing out FC’s contractors’ method of logging across the habitats of endangered species such as koalas, greater gliders and glossy black cockatoos.

“People don’t know how Forestry Corp works up here on the Mid North Coast.

“We have chatted with people who stop by, and they say they didn’t realise how disastrous the situation is and they don’t understand the effect of destroying regrowth plantations within a native forest.”

Chris suggests there is a “gulf” between FC head office in Sydney and what’s happening in the regions through the way the contractors operate.

“The logging contractors may leave a koala habitat tree and a small buffer zone but they cut down trees around them and destroy the broader habitat,” she said.

The Knitting Nannas group first formed in 2012 in NSW’s Northern Rivers with a focus on stopping the practices of coal seam gas.

Chris was a member of that group briefly in the early days, before joining the Canberra wing of the organisation.

Now a resident of Coffs Harbour, Chris is bringing her passion for climate issues to the Knitting Nannas Coffs Harbour Loop group.

“It’s about Mother Earth really,” she said of her driving force.

“As adults we have a responsibility to the younger generation to prevent damage to our climate, land, forests, rivers and oceans.”

The Friday protests, with members dressed in striking yellow and black coloured outfits, are attracting a huge number of toots from supportive drivers.

“A policeman came up to us on the first day and asked what we were doing and said all was OK and to make sure the pathway was kept clear.

“He then went into the FC office and told them we’d be there every Friday.”

A Forestry Corporation spokesperson told NOTA, “NSW state forests provide habitat for wildlife, support primary industries like apiary and grazing, provide renewable time for local mills and access for tourism experiences including free camping, bushwalks, 4WDing and mountain biking.

“Around half of the state forest area is permanently set aside and operations in the remaining are carefully planned and undertaken in line with strict environmental conditions.

“Timber harvesting takes place in around one percent of native state forests each year and every tree harvested for decking, flooring, wharf timbers and electricity poles is regrown for future generations.”

To chat with the Knitting Nannas Coffs Harbour Loop, pop along on Friday from 8.30am until midday, or find out more at


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