Pressure on state to back down over forest logging

By Mitch Gaynor

THE State Government is under pressure to back down on plans to log Ferny Forest with over 2800 people signing a Queensland Parliamentary petition and dozens staging a regular Friday afternoon protest at the site of the proposed harvesting.

The State Government is proposing to log about 50 per cent of high value hardwood trees from the 129-hectare site at Landsborough, ahead of the forest’s transfer to National Park status.

Opponents to the logging say they are increasingly frustrated with a lack of communication from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, with no meaningful dialogue despite straightforward questions. Asked by GC&M News if and when a decision would be made on logging , a DAF spokesman said: “No decision has been made. All appropriate considerations will be taken into account.”

It is understood that DAF must facilitate a meaningful engagement process in order to maintain certification to harvest wood products.

About 200 people attended a protest in early March, and over 20,000 people have signed a petition against the logging. A ‘Friday’s at Ferny Forest’ is now underway with dozens continuing to pressure the government to back down on its harvest plans.

A parliamentary petition, which has over 2800 signatures, demands the House do “all within its power to block the imminent logging from going ahead or at least provide us with a report weighing up the economic value of the harvested logs against the area’s ecological, cultural, and recreational value (in dollar terms) that will endure for generations to come”.

The forest, which is deemed core koala habitat, has significant conservation values and includes 52 other threatened species, the petition states.

The area is a significant cultural site for the Kabi Kabi people and an important link from Ewen Maddock Dam to Mooloolah River National Park.