Protester stops logging in Ellis State Forest by latching onto harvester

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Carly Flemming faces jail time by stopping logging in the Ellis State Forest.

On Monday morning August 29, logging by the Forestry Corporation (FCNSW) in the Ellis State Forest, west of Coffs Harbor, was halted.

A 31-year-old woman had locked herself on a harvester, immobilizing the forestry machine.

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Protester Carly Flemming, a resident of Bellingen County, said: “I am devastated that those in power are choosing inaction in the face of undeniable species extinction.

“They are laughing at all of us as they fund an unprofitable industry that is destroying precious koala habitat, ruining our waterways and fueling the climate crisis.”

The Bellingen Activist Network fears the FCNSW will continue to exploit native forests amid what it says is an extinction crisis, pushing species like the koala to a tipping point.

The Network demands that native forests be protected from the “unruly behavior of the Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW)” to protect endangered wildlife, waterways and climate.

Activists say the Ellis State Forest has been identified as critical habitat for one of the North Coast’s largest koala populations.

The demands come on the heels of the recently released State of the Environment report which found that Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent and has one of the highest rates of species decline. raised in the world.

Over 100 Australian species have been listed as extinct or extinct in the wild, with habitat loss listed as a major driver.

“We need to see an immediate end to indigenous logging,” Ms Flemming said.

“Current contracts and obligations should be terminated, with affected workers moving to safer work.”

Ms Flemming cited recent media coverage of logging on the Coffs Coast and legal action against FCNSW for violating environmental regulations to support her protest.

“Nonviolent direct action has been used successfully for decades to challenge systems that destroy nature for profit.

“Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent on Earth.

“If we don’t take bolder action, who will?

“It is absolutely time for communities to step up and take matters into their own hands.”

Ms Flemming was removed from the machinery and taken to Grafton Police Station.

The direct action continued on Tuesday, when Michael Jones also locked himself in machinery, interrupting work.

“As a conservationist, I am taking action today because I am acutely aware that in Australia around 90% of our mammal, reptile and frog species, and around 50% of our bird species, do not are found nowhere else in the world,” Jones said.

The Bellingen Activist Network said it will continue to support the community across Gumbaynggirr country and take direct action to protect life, water and culture.

In a statement on social media on Tuesday, Timber NSW, a representative organization for NSW’s timber and forest products industry, complained about stop work orders and warned the public not to be fooled by “eco-activists”.

“They like to convince the public that they are heroes saving nature – claiming ecological credentials and using emotive language like ‘industrial logging’ and animal extinctions. Completely unscientific,” the statement reads. .

“They refuse to answer the single question,” the statement continued.

“While there are currently 7.5 million hectares of national parks and conservation reserves in New South Wales and less than 800,000 hectares used for selective harvesting in state forests, of which less than 2% is harvested every year and then regenerated, why is the huge protected park and reserve system not working for wildlife?

The Timber NSW statement accused so-called ‘forest protectors’ of ‘vile trolling and criminal harassment of forestry workers’.

“There are hard working families in the logging and timber industry, many of them from third and fourth generation logging business families for over 100 years who have the legal right to work.

“It is time for the same laws to protect logging sites in New South Wales that have just been passed by the Labor government in Victoria and the Liberal government in Tasmania.”

By Andrew VIVIAN

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