The Glenbog Blog


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Update

As of 27 August 2014

 

  • Logging zone saved at Dump F includes 18 burrows (due to pressure from media)
  • 48 burrows are outside zone (wetland, rocky outcrop, etc)
  • 29 burrows still in zone to be logged and then inspected

 

54 burrows have been logged where:

  • 43 are safe
  • 4 totally destroyed and unable to be re-opened
  • 7 blocked entrances and re-opened by Ray Wynan….(not the Forestry) one burrow back filled 3 times.

Of the 54 burrows, approximately 30 burrows were logged and the 4 destroyed and 5 of 7was blocked BEFORE EPA came for an inspection. (9 of 30 burrows had been totally ignored, 30%).

After EPA’s visit the same burrows was backfilled the second and then the third time. An additional 2 burrows were blocked. Our markers had been torn off and removed from some burrows.

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Wombat deaths: Government investigates ‘what went wrong’

The Forestry Corporation of NSW has launched an investigation into “what went wrong” in the Glenbog State Forest on the south coast, after logging buried wombats in their burrows, despite a deal to protect the animals.

The Wombat Protection Society and Australian Wildlife Society said the wombats would have died slowly and the groups were angered that large GPS markings identifying the burrows were ignored by logging contractors. 

Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson was grilled by a parliamentary committee over the incident, revealed in The Sun-Herald a fortnight ago.

Ms Hodgkinson refused to use the word “buried”, instead saying the burrows had been “disturbed”. She accused Greens MP David Shoebridge of being “highly emotive” when he said the wombats had been buried alive.

But director-general of the Department of Primary Industries Scott Hansen agreed with Mr Shoebridge that the burrows had been covered with fallen debris and compacted soil, and the wombats could not get out.

“Access has been impeded,” Mr Hansen said. 

The Forestry Corporation, which is owned by the NSW government, suspended logging in the Glenbog State Forest after The Sun-Herald’s story and sent investigators to work with the protection society to excavate seven wombat burrows the following day. Eleven burrows were discovered to have been blocked.

Mr Hansen said a “review as to what went wrong” was under way and remedial action would be taken.

Wildlife groups had marked 150 burrows with large painted signs and given GPS locations under a deal with the Forestry Corporation to spare the animals. But neighbours reported the logging contractors had ignored the agreement, which included restrictions on driving at dawn and dusk, and had even built a dirt road over one burrow.

Marie Wynan, who runs a wildlife refuge at a nearby property and photographed the devastation, was concerned that the death rate could climb as loggers moved into the section of forest most densely populated by wombats.

A Forestry Corporation spokeswoman said on Saturday that logging had resumed. “Before harvesting resumed, the markings on the burrows in the remaining area were reviewed to ensure visibility to machine operators and the harvest plan was amended to exclude a small area,” she said.

“Forestry Corporation is continuing to investigate allegations of deliberate breaches of the harvest plan conditions.”

Labor has accused the government of failing to enforce environmental protections.

Mr Shoebridge said the logging operation in the Glenbog State Forest was under the NSW government’s control.

 


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Notice of Motion moved by David Shoebridge (Greens MP) in State Parliament

1976. Mr Shoebridge to move­

 

1. That this House notes that:
(a) the Wombat Protection Society recently marked about 150 burrows in the Glenbog State Forest with GPS coordinates and bright paint to allow loggers to avoid the burrows,
(b) agreement was obtained with the Forestry Corporation to ensure entrances to burrows were not obstructed by logging debris or otherwise damaged,
(c) despite this understanding, logging operations in the Glenbog State Forest have since caused the collapse of burrow entrances, meaning wombats have been buried alive and will starve to death,
(d) the Environmental Protection Authority inspected the site and provided recommendations about protecting wombat burrows but took no further action, and
(e) further logging is planned in this forest in areas with large wombat populations.

2. That this House call on the Government to:
(a) immediately halt logging in Glenbog State Forest,
(b) condemn the actions of Forestry Corporation in allowing the destruction of these burrows, and
(c) urgently review policies in place to protect native species including wombats from harm during logging operations.

(Notice given 14 August 2014­expires Notice Paper No. 228)