New Bush Telegraph Independent Stories since 1987
COMMUNITYSUSTAINABILITYENVIRONMENTPOLITICSCOUNCILARTSCLIMATE CHANGE

Currowan Anniversary - Extra Distressing for South Brooman Residents

November 27, 2020

By Bonnie Cassen

Twelve months on from the start of the Currowan Fire, Clyde River locals are shocked at Forestry plans to log 18 compartments between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla. 

The first anniversary of the devastating Currowan Fire that shook the South Coast has just come up. On 26 November 2019 a dry lightning strike deep in the Currowan forest ignited its 74-day rein. It tore through the Shallow Crossing and South Brooman region, travelling slowly like a deadly claw, always at the mercy of the weather. Intense heatwaves fuelling drought-ridden forest floors, extreme winds racing it forward, then changing its course dramatically, unwittingly saving entire towns from its fury.

Just 12 months on Clyde River locals are bracing themselves for an onslaught of logging by NSW Forestry Corporation with 18 forestry areas slated for logging in burnt forests between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla.
 
The logging plans, detailed on the Forestry Corporation’s plan portal show logging activities in the 18 sites as either ‘approved’, ‘planning’, or ‘proposed’.

Forest Corporation Plan Status for South Brooman Forest.

Forestry Corporation recommenced logging immediately after the fires on two sites in the South Brooman State Forest leading to a Stop Work order being issued in July by the NSW EPA for breaches by its contractors including the illegal removal of hollow-bearing trees. 

Brian Bennett, President of the South Brooman State Forest Conservation Group, said, “We have had enough. Clyde River locals fought fires twice, were flooded out by torrential rain, then bang, from March on, the struggling wildlife that survived in our spotted gum forests has had to survive the logging of two compartments bulldozed in South Brooman right next to the unburned creeklines.”

Locals are shocked at Forestry plans to log eighteen more State Forest compartments between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla in the next 12 months.

“All of the planned areas to be logged have areas of unburned canopy and creek lines of unburnt forest with surviving birds and wildlife.” Mr Bennett continues, “Despite these plans, Forestry won’t say which one of the eighteen compartments will be next. So the community are left facing tremendous uncertainty about what is about to happen in our forests or our ability to advise Forestry Corporation on important ecological, historical and cultural areas.”

South Brooman Forest logging. Photo supplied.

We know Forestry are keen to log, without the EPA's bushfire affected site specific conditions in force.

EPA added these conditions specifically to protect rainforest and threatened ecological communities affected by the Black Summer fires. Unburned and lightly burned canopy, all big old habitat trees with visible hollows and  trees on steep slopes of between 20 and 30 degrees, can no longer be logged. Rainforest and threatened ecological communities (eg river flat eucalypt forest) gained an extra 35 metre buffer zone, and creek buffers were increased by an additional 10 metres; all so wildlife had vital habitat available for refuge and breeding.

Felled tree with hollow in South Brooman Forest. Photo supplied.

Birdlife Australia have called for an end to native forest logging on the South Coast between Ulladulla and Merimbula to protect critically endangered swift parrot feed trees. Swift parrots fly here from Tasmania to feast on flowering gum blossom, and there are less than a thousand pairs left.
 
“We want Forestry Corporation out of these forests,” Mr Bennett said. “Eighty five per cent of South Coast forests were burnt in the fires and billions of animals were killed. These forests need to be given time to recover, not further degraded by logging.” 
 
Logging plans include four compartments behind the Shallow Crossing campground where people will be holidaying over the summer. One of these Shallow Crossing compartments directly borders the western bank of the Clyde River.
 
“Local businesses who rely on access through the State Forests are struggling because of logging activities,” Takesa Frank, an employee of the Clyde River Berry Farm said today. “Tourists and locals will have to navigate the dangers of loaded logging trucks on narrow dirt roads while viewing kilometres of devastated logged forests. 

Residents are also worried about the thousands of tonnes of logging waste already amassed on the forest floor. The two compartments logged this year in South Brooman now adding to future fire risk. This is how Forestry operates. In and out for a quick buck with the community left suffering the impacts and risks. 

Investment in local tourism and local jobs are being sacrificed for logging – an industry that is barely profitable and definitely not sustainable. Forestry is heavily subsidised and trashes vital habitat for woodchip destined for export markets. Are the jobs of a couple of workers employed by interstate contractors in each compartment really worth sacrificing our precious species for?

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, tree, grass, outdoor and nature, text that says "Logging NO LOGGING 100% Forest PLEASE SAVING FORESTS CLIMATE LEAVE OUR HOME ALONE PLANTATION BROO BIG CA CAMPO STOP LOGGING PROTECT WILDLIFE LOGGI WAKE Rils Sonel OUR BUSH NOT JAPANS WOODCHIP"
Brooman Forest Conservation Group. Photo supplied.

“Enough already,” says Ms Frank who is part of the Brooman Forest conservation group. “No one wants to have to continually deal with the destruction and waste of logging in their local native forests? We’re calling for a transition of the forestry industry out of public state forests and into plantations and private land forestry.”

“Plantations and private land forestry ensure future timber supply and certainty for timber workers while allowing the forests and wildlife to recover.” Mr Bennett adds. A better result for everyone.

If you liked this article help us to plant trees in its honour. The New Bush Telegraph practices community journalism and plants a tree for every article published, although we hope to plant a whole lot more trees than just one. You can contribute as little as $5. 

FIND OUT MORE / DONATE

This article is in the following category/ies:

  • Categories

  • Archives

    One comment on “Currowan Anniversary - Extra Distressing for South Brooman Residents”

    1. I'm asking for a rapid transition of the forestry industry out of public state forests and into plantations and private land forestry.

      Plantations and private land forestry ensure future timber supply and certainty for timber workers while allowing the forests and wildlife to recover. A better result for everyone.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Join us

    For only $20 (per annum, $10 concession) you can become a member of The New Bush Telegraph Incorporated. Membership to an incorporated association shows your support and gives you voting rights at annual general meetings, access to volunteer opportunities and special member events.

    FIND OUT MORE
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Keep up to date with all the news from The New Bush Telegraph and be notified of new articles when they are published. It’s the best way to stay in touch and never miss out on those important local issues. You can unsubscribe at any time.
    * indicates required

    Donate to the New Bush Telegraph

    The New Bush Telegraph is a not-for-profit community initiative.

    Support us to grow and reach our goals by considering making a donation.

    COMMUNITYSUSTAINABILITY
    ENVIRONMENTPOLITICS
    COUNCIL
    ARTSCLIMATE CHANGE
    ABOUTLETTERS TO THE EDITORCONTACT

    Archives

    #125 Spring 2019#120 Winter 2018#109 Spring 2015#108 Winter 2015#107 Autumn 2015#106 Winter 2010#105 Late Spring 2009#104 Winter 2009#103 Autumn 2009#102 Summer 2008#101 Winter / Spring 2008#100 Late Autumn 2008#99 Late Summer  2008#98 Summer 2007#97 Spring 2007#96 Winter 2007#95 Autumn 2007
    New Bush Telegraph - Independent Publishing Since 1987
    Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions
    Copyright © New Bush Telegraph Incorporated ABN: 42106732072
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram