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Gumbaynggirr protestors at it again in Bagawa forest

Logging has been stopped at Bagawa State Forest this morning. It is the fourth time logging has been halted on the NSW Mid North Coast over the past six weeks by the Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group (GCG). Source: Timberbiz

One individual is in a tree attached to two machines, effectively stopping logging in the active Bagawa State Forest operation site, 40km North-West of Coffs Harbour.

Last week a protester was arrested after he locked himself onto a NSW Forestry Corporation thresher with tape.

“If we’re to have anything left of these incredible environments to hand to future generations, it is imperative we stand as a community and advocate for their permanent protection,” the protestor said.

Only a week after being issued a ‘stop work’ notice for illegally logging giant habitat trees at Wild Cattle Creek State Forest, Forestry Corporation moved into Bagawa SF to continue tree felling.

Bagawa SF is recovering from the devastating December 2019 Liberation Trail Fire that burnt over 150,000 hectares of land.

“Five million hectares of NSW forests burnt last summer, and three billion animals were lost with them. We need every last patch of native forest left to refuge dislocated species, regulate our climate and grow into our future forests,” a GCG spokesperson said.

“This is a recovering forest. It’s recovering from fires and ongoing historical logging from Forestry Corp. It’s already home to Koalas, Yellow-bellied Gliders and Glossy Black Cockatoos – just imagine what it could become if Forestry Corporation left this recovering forest alone.”

Despite the EPA having issued a new rule to prohibit intensive harvesting in burnt areas, they have given an exemption for Bagawa SF over a critical shortage of timber supply. This exemption overrules the new law that was introduced to protect struggling species impacted by the fires.

The Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group is a historic alliance between Gumbaynggirr Custodians, local community and environmental groups that have come together over a shared concern about native forest logging across local State Forests.

Across Gumbaynggirr homelands, Forestry Corporation continues to disregard the cultural importance of native forests with a general lack of community consultation and consent.

“The hypocrisy of Forestry Corporation using a Gumbaynggirr word “Bagawa” (a family clan name) to name a forest and then log it to the ground speaks volumes to their complete disregard for cultural heritage,” Sandy Greenwood, a Gumbaynggirr custodian and spokesperson said.

“They use our language to name our country, then deliberately desecrate it for low-use timber. It is incredibly disrespectful to Gumbaynggirr Custodians and Native Title holders. My Elders are very upset.”

Since the establishment of The Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group in May, they have halted logging by direct action in Nambucca SF, Wild Cattle Creek SF, Lower Bucca SF and now Bagawa.