Sombre protest against logging mourns loss of trees

Members of Knitting Nannas Coffs Harbour Loop joined with Extinction Rebellion’s Red Rebels and local year 12 students to quietly protest against logging in Orara East State Forest.

USING theatre to bring attention to the lie of the land after NSW Forestry Corporation logged and left the Orara State Forest, local environment groups staged a “display of mourning”, as they called it.

Continuing their protest against logging of eucalypt forest within the boundary of the proposed Great Koala National Park (GKNP) young and old locals staged a dramatic theatre event inside Orara East State Forest, 10 kilometres west of Coffs Harbour on Sunday 23 July 2023.

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Members of Knitting Nannas Coffs Harbour Loop joined with Extinction Rebellion’s Red Rebels and local year 12 students playing out a sombre procession in mourning for the recent destruction of Orara East forest and the loss of animal habitat.

Forest defenders wearing red, yellow and black staged a slow and solemn protest amongst extensive volumes of log waste abandoned by NSW Forestry Corporation after logging operations ceased on July 18, 2023.

The NSW Labor government has been under increased pressure to stop all logging within the GKNP as the call to end logging right across the state intensifies.

The recent visit to NSW Parliament House by the community-based GKNP Advocacy and Negotiation Group urged the government to secure the future of 20 percent of NSW’s wild koala population, which are dependent on habitat within the boundary of the proposed park.

“The group requested the government to halt logging operations immediately, commence negotiations to achieve a just transition for workers in the logging industry, involve First Nations in the establishment and ongoing management of the GKNP and to revegetate and restore forests degraded by industrial-scale logging,” Coffs Harbour Knitting Nanna Elaine Phillips told News Of The Area.

“Both young and old are deeply distressed by the destruction of forests right across the mid north coast.

“The young fear for their future while the old fear for the future of the young,” she said.

“Everyone fears for the future of forest animals, particularly the already-endangered koala and glossy black cockatoo.”

Sunday’s gathering of seasoned and fledgling resisters is an informed group of individuals who keep themselves aware of environmental issues and are also alarmed by the climate-change impacts of losing vast numbers of trees that capture and store carbon dioxide so efficiently.

Year 12 student Mason Curlis spoke for the group saying, “I find it absolutely disheartening to see that the government doesn’t care about what is happening here and about our future and about our natural environment.

“We are here to mourn the loss of this forest,” he said.

Elaine Phillips expressed her concern for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“I can’t believe the destruction here,” she said.

“What are we leaving for future generations?

“There will be no natural places for kids to explore, run and play.

“Really this must stop, it makes me so sad,” she said.

On Friday 11 August Coffs Harbour residents who are concerned about the environmental impacts of logging, will host a family-friendly event on behalf of the Bob Brown Foundation – Rally for Native Forests.

There will also be rallies in Lismore, Sydney, Ulladulla, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth and Brisbane, such is the concern about the loss of forest cover right across the country.


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