Showing posts with label Clarence River catchment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarence River catchment. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 October 2020

CLARENCE RIVER CATCHMENT 2020: a culturally, economically, environmentally & socially harmful number of mining applications are in the process of getting the nod from the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government


Caring for the Clarence from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.



Of particular concern to council and the wider valley community is the yet to be completed Mole River dam in Tenterfield shire which has previously been mooted as a holding dam for the diversion of Clarence River catchment water elsewhere by Clarence water first being sent into the Upper Mole River.


That brings to three the number of companies currently undertaking exploration mining in the Clarence Valley. 


Given that the number of exploration licenses applied for or granted in the Clarence River catchment area have grown rapidly in 2020, the level of concern for the headwaters of so many rivers and creeks in also rising in Clarence Valley communities.

 IMAGE: Clarence Catchment Alliance

Needless to say the NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, former surveyor, property developer and operations manager with a Qld resources/mining consultancy firm, thinks this map is just fine and dandy - nothing to see hear, move along.

BACKGROUND

Clarence Valley Council submission to Inquiry into the rationale for, and impacts of, new dams and other water infrastructure in NSW, dated 22 September 2020 at:

Ms. Debrah Novak (Clarence Valley councillor) submission to Inquiry into the rationale for, and impacts of, new dams and other water infrastructure in NSW, dated 21 September 2020 at:

Clarence Environment Centre submission to Inquiry into the rationale for, and impacts of, new dams and other water infrastructure in NSW, dated 12 September 2020 at:


Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Forestry Corporation of NSW ordered to cease tree harvesting at Wild Cattle Creek State Forest



The EPA says this is one of two 'giant' trees felled in the Wild Cattle Creek State Forest.(Supplied: EPA) - ABC News, 19 July 2020

NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), media release, 18 July 2020:

EPA orders Stop Work on forestry operations in Wild Cattle Creek State 


Forest The NSW Environment Protection Authority has today issued Forestry Corporation of NSW with a Stop Work Order to cease tree harvesting at Wild Cattle Creek State Forest inland from Coffs Harbour. 

 The NSW Environment Protection Authority has today issued Forestry Corporation of NSW with a Stop Work Order to cease tree harvesting at Wild Cattle Creek State Forest inland from Coffs Harbour. 

EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Carmen Dwyer said EPA investigations into operations in Compartments 32, 33 and 34 of the forest had revealed serious alleged breaches of the rules that govern native forestry operations, set out in the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA), in relation to the protection of trees that must not be felled. 

“To maintain biodiversity in the forest, the Coastal IFOA rules require loggers to identify giant trees (over 140cm stump diameter) and ensure they are protected and not logged. The EPA alleges that during an inspection on 9 July 2020 EPA officers observed two giant trees which had been felled. 

“Any trees except Blackbutt and Alpine Ash with a diameter of more than 140cm are defined as giant trees and must be retained under the Coastal IFOA,” Ms Dwyer said. 

“As a result, the EPA has issued a Stop Work Order under the Biodiversity Conservation Act to stop Forestry Corporation logging in the forest. The order ensures that no further tree harvesting takes place in the area where the trees were felled for 40 days, or until the EPA is confident that Forestry Corporation can meet its obligations to comply with the Coastal IFOA conditions to protect giant trees.” 

This is the first time the EPA has issued Forestry Corporation with a Stop Work Order under new laws which came into effect in 2018. 

“These two old, giant trees have provided significant habitat and biodiversity value and are irreplaceable. Their removal points to serious failures in the planning and identification of trees that must be retained in the forest. 

“These are serious allegations and strong action is required to prevent any further harm to giant or other protected trees which help maintain biodiversity and provide habitat for threatened species like koalas.” 

This action follows the recent issue of two Penalty Notices totalling $2,200 to Forestry Corporation for non-compliances associated with an alleged failure to correctly identify protection zones for trees around streams and for felling four trees within those protected zones in Orara East State Forest near Coffs Harbour. The penalties were issued under previous rules when the penalties were lower. 

“The EPA continues to closely monitor forestry operations despite the current COVID-19 restrictions, to ensure compliance with the regulations,” Ms Dwyer said.  

“The community can be confident that any alleged non-compliance during forestry operations will be investigated by the EPA and action taken if the evidence confirms a breach.” 

Stop Work Orders and penalty notices are examples of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. A recipient can appeal and elect to have the matter determined by a court. 

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

ABC News, 19 July 2020:

The Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group's Zianna Fuad said the group wanted the forest protected and she was extremely relieved the stop work order was in place. 

"It's devastating that we have lost these old-growth trees that we can never get back," she said. 

"Wild Cattle Creek is especially important — it's the second largest koala hotspot in NSW. 

"We have amazing koala forests up here that we would love to see protected as The Great Koala National Park."

BACKGROUND

BuzzFeed, 1 July 2020:

Sandy Greenwood, a Gumbaynggirr custodian and spokesperson, is in the process of taking Forestry Corporation to court. 

Her statement about the events reads: “We have given our notice of Trespass to the Forestry Corporation and demanded they stop the logging of all Gumbaynggirr Country for lack of jurisdiction and no conciliation or consent. 

The NSW Government and Forestry Corp are breaching international and domestic law under the international declaration of Indigenous Peoples' rights. 

"We are the Gumbaynggirr people, sovereign custodians of Gumbaynggirr Country, land and waters and we demand an end to logging in these irreplaceable and incredibly ancient publicly-owned forests. 

Logging must be stopped immediately and they must be conserved for all beings to enjoy.” 

The sections of the forest that were scheduled to be logged at Wild Cattle Creek are critically important. Not only are they unceded Gumbaynggirr Country, but the forest remains a piece of unburnt refuge for koalas in the area, as it was narrowly missed by the Liberation Trail bushfire last November.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers, 3 July 2020:

The anti-logging campaign the Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group has recently launched in northern NSW is doing exceedingly well. And the word is that the model it’s using to gain all the traction may soon be mirrored across the continent. 

Back in April, by cover of COVID, the construction of roads into the Nambucca State Forest commenced, with a view to opening up the area for logging. 

This native forest escaped the wrath of last summer’s unprecedented bushfires, but evidently not that of the Berejiklian government. 

The Forestry Corporation of NSW then moved in to commence logging in May. The state-owned company has said it’s only conducting “low intensity thinning” of “regrowth” forest, however local custodians, the Gumbaynggirr people, assert that this isn’t the case. 

But, despite loggers having moved in with machinery, the traditional owners and their allies have had them on the run. A series of lock-ons in Nambucca last week saw them scamper over to the Wild Cattle Creek State Forest this week, where further lock-ons have seen operations halted there. 

Sign of the times 

The Gumbaynggirr people were handed back their land through the native title process in 2014. And today, it’s the native title holders and conservation organisations that have joined together to form the Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group (GCG). And it’s been running quite a campaign of firsts. 

NSW Forestry announced it was pausing operations in Nambucca State Forest on 5 June for five days, to allow the GCG to undertake an independent cultural heritage survey. 

This was the first time logging had ever been halted since the NSW regional forestry agreement came into play 20 years ago. 

And further, the Gumbaynggirr people are taking the NSW Forestry Corporation to the state Land and Environment Court, which is the first time it has been taken to court by an individual organisation in decades. 

Then there’s the Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group itself. Having established the Gumbaynggirr Tent Embassy in Nambucca in mid-May, the GCG is an alliance that’s forging a new type of activism, which organisers maintain will soon be replicated at other sites nationwide. 

GCG spokesperson Sandy Greenwood has said that if NSW Forestry isn’t stopped “deeply significant cultural heritage will be desecrated, our beautiful old growth trees will be logged, rare flora will become extinct and our koalas and endangered species will literally have nowhere else to go”....

Wild Cattle Creek State Forest. Image: Dean Tresize