Conservationists have accused Forests NSW of extending the prohibited zone around controversial logging on Mumbulla Mountain as a way to stop further koala discoveries.
Spokesperson, Ms Harriett Swift says that recent discoveries of koala traces would not have been legally possible under the new, extended prohibited zone declaration.
Three separate sets of koala traces, scats and footprints have been found less than half a kilometre from the logging compartment where logging started on 29th March.
”None of those recent koala traces could have been legally found under the current declaration,” she says.
”Government authorities are showing their total indifference to the fate of the Mumbulla koalas,” she says.
”We also have the absurd situation where loggers are required to stop work if they see a koala on a tree or on the ground in the logging area.
”Anyone who has ever seen a mechanical harvester in action knows that this is completely impossible.
”A mechanical harvester has a solid steel roof and very poor visibility laterally and none vertically. There is no way that a koala up a tree could be seen by the operator of the mechanical harvester or other members of the logging crew before the tree was cut down.
"There have been instances of koalas killed by logging machinery in other regions where they are more numerous than here.
”There is no reason why that couldnt happen here too,” Ms Swift says.
22 April 2010