CEN News + Media

Keep up with all the environmental news here
check online or subscribe to our e-Notice and get all the news to your email box

The resumption of logging in Ourimbah State Forest by Forestry Corp NSW (FCNSW) is evidence the Minns NSW Government has paid no more than lip service to research revealing the threat of regional extinctions within 50 years if the clearing of native forests continues.

As a member of the Barrington to Hawkesbury Climate Corridors Alliance (B2H), the Community Environment Network last year called for an immediate moratorium on land clearing to avoid regional species extinctions by 2070.

“CEN felt confident during the March NSW election campaign that the then state opposition understood the need to stop logging, protect native forests and create 22 climate refugia between Barrington Tops and the Hawkesbury River if we are to minimise native species extinctions,” said CEN Chair, Mr Gary Chestnut.

“Right now one of those refugia on the Central Coast, Ourimbah State Forest, is being logged for low-quality salvage and pulpwood and we call upon the Premier, Chris Minns, and Environment Minister, Penny Sharpe, to immediately halt NSW Forestry’s operations at Ourimbah,” he said.

“Bushland on the Central Coast is under immense pressure from urban development, agriculture and the intensifying impacts of global warming – native forest logging, for very little economic benefit, can no longer be tolerated.

“If the NSW Government does not permanently protect Ourimbah State Forest along with the other 21 climate refugia identified in the two B2H reports, this region is facing the extinction of up to 50 per cent of all native flora species and at least six native fauna species within 50 years.

“The research for the B2H reports was based on habitat suitability modelling, completed by the Bionode of the NSW Adaptation Hub at Macquarie University, and on NSW Government climate corridor mapping. It assessed available habitat for local threatened populations under four future climate warming scenarios.

“The research identifies 22 climate refugia corridors that span the region and will be essential for the preservation of species in a warming world.

“Premier Minns and Minister Sharpe know that the clearing of native vegetation and destruction of habitat is the single greatest threat to biodiversity in NSW. They must act now to stop this threat.”

According to the Community Environment Network, a cultural site within the Ourimbah State Forest has already been damaged because of logging activity.

“CEN is aware that koala sightings in the forest in 2019 have not been followed up and FCNSW has made no changes to its harvest plans despite being presented with evidence from the community, scientists and Traditional Owners about flora, fauna and the heritage site,” Mr Chestnut said.

“It appears FCNSW has ignored recent warnings about the likelihood of an early fire season this year. Ourimbah is a rainforest but if large log piles and other debris are left to dry in the forest the fire danger could be catastrophic.

“The risks created by FCNSW’s current ‘harvesting’ far outweigh the rewards. CEN and our B2H partners repeat our call for an immediate moratorium on land clearing. State Forest logging must cease.”

Contact details

CALL 02 4349 4756

PO Box 149 Ourimbah NSW 2258

FM Building, Central Coast Campus,
University of Newcastle,
Loop Road, Ourimbah,
NSW, 2258


Wildcard SSL Certificates