Logging halted of private native forest near national park

ABOVE: Kyogle Environment Group members protest against the logging of native trees near the Border Ranges National Park. Photo: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

Logging at a property near the Border Ranges National Park was first noticed by a Kyogle Environment Group member on their way to the park.

Kyogle Council general manager Graham Kennett said the council received a complaint about the logging of native forest at a site along Forest Rd on July 25.

“Council officers inspected the site that day and immediately reported the matter to the Environmental Protection Authority and Local Land Services, who are the two state government agencies responsible for the regulation and approval of private native forests,” Mr Kennett said.

“Council also issued an emergency stop works order the following day.”

The property on Forest Rd is a short drive from the national park and 30km north of Kyogle.

The Kyogle Environment Group contacted Minister for Environment and Heritage James Griffin, Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders, State MP Janelle Saffin and MLC Sue Higginson as well as the EPA.

KEG secretary Sue Page received a letter about the logging from the EPA’s Carmen Dwyer.

The letter said the EPA had conducted two inspections at the property and identified alleged non-compliance issues.

“These matters are now subject to a formal investigation,” Ms Dwyer said.

Logging laws require landholders and contractors to comply with the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice.

“The EPA is currently investigating compliance issues at the property. Forestry operations have been suspended at the site following separate regulatory action instituted by Kyogle Council,” an EPA spokesperson said.

Neither council nor the EPA could give further details until the investigation is complete.

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