State Forests NSW has agreed not to log the area of oldgrowth forest
identified by forest defenders at Sheas Nob, that was the scene of
logging protests last week.
"We are very pleased that our actions have seen this spectacular area of
forests survive for a bit longer. However we have been told that the area
will have no protected status and will be available for logging at the 'next
harvesting operation', said NEFA spokesperson Susie Russell.
"This is yet another example of the half-pregnant promise by Bob Carr to
protect our oldgrowth forests. It is clear that as the images from the forest
started to get out to the public it was embarrassing for the Government to
be seen to be logging magnificent old trees. In order to avoid the negative
publicity the logging of this area has now been postponed to some time in
the future. Presumably after the next election.
Ms Russell said that the North East Forest Alliance would continue to
work for the permanent protection of the region's oldgrowth forests.
"I think we can expect to see some fairly dramatic protests next month when
logging begins in an area of oldgrowth in Chaelundi State Forest.
Compartment 193 was part of the oldgrowth logging moratorium that was put
in place by Liberal Premier Nick Greiner in 1991.

We advised State Forests early last year that we would vigorously defend the
area from being logged.

"Thousands of people took part in the Chaelundi forest actions in 1991 and
hundreds of people were arrested. Several of them have already made it clear
to me that they will be back, prepared to be arrested again in 2002.

"It is absurd that we are forced to attempt to defend these irreplaceable
forests patch by patch, 'harvesting operation' by 'harvesting operation'.
Many of these areas are home to endangered species, and play an important
role in the hydrological cycle.

Why are we paying thousands of dollars to put a hectare of seedlings in the
ground and then ripping out trees that are hundreds of years old which already
are fulfilling numerous important ecological functions?

"The Premier could rectify the situation by standing by his 1995 election promise
to protect oldgrowth forests. He has an electoral mandate to do it. The ongoing
destruction of these areas can only be described as madness and a symbol of all
that is wrong with our society in the 21st century," Ms Russell said.

For more information, please call:
0429 655044 -- C/o Post Office, Elands, NSW 2429, Australia
0265 504481 ph,  0265 504433 fx (phone first!)

Rainforest Information Centre
Box 368 Lismore NSW 2480

61 2 66213294