Logging protesters gather at Camp Nunguu

Camp Nunguu was established nine months ago

LAST Saturday, May 13, more than 100 people gathered at ‘Camp Nunguu’ in Newry State Forest, west of Urunga, to protest imminent logging of what they say is a biodiverse forest.

Organisers say that Newry provides critical connectivity for koalas between the coastal forests and the great dividing range.

Protesters have camped at Camp Nunguu for nine months to protect Newry State Forest in 2021, inhibiting scheduled logging.

The recent action arose after Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) recently re-listed Newry State Forest as ‘approved’ for logging.

The Bellingen Activist Network (BAN) says it is responding to calls from Gumbaynggirr elders to protect sacred areas and sites in Newry State Forest and are calling for an immediate end to native forest logging across NSW.

Ruby Oliver-King, from BAN, said people were making a commitment to direct, non-violent actions to defend the forests.

She said a ‘sea of hands’ were raised when attendees were asked if they would put their bodies in front of machines.
“I feel inspired and confident that we will continue to protect Newry,” Ms Oliver-King said.

“As an environmental scientist I know that native forestry contributes to deforestation and that statements that logging helps forests thrive is just industry propaganda.”

The event had speeches from attendees and music to highlight BAN’s view that dwindling koala habitat through bushfires and logging has already pushed Australia’s national icon to serious risk of future extinction and that logging what it says are some of the most valuable and important threatened species habitats in the area must cease.

“The pledged koala park does not mean that these forests are safe and we must continue to defend them,” Ms Oliver-King said.

By Andrew VIVIAN

‘Hot Mess’ played along with other local musicians.

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