Animals

Logging of threatened species’ habitats continues

The West Australian community was unaware logging continued in forests of high ecological value, the WA Forest Alliance warned.

Frustrated with Labor’s management of old growth forests, the group protested in Perth’s Yagan Square on National Threatened Species Day.

More than 50 people attended the event on September 7.

The focus of the event this year was the red tailed forest cockatoo and the numbat, two of many native animals whose homes were being destroyed by deforestation.

The event was part of a series of campaigns to create further pressure on the State Government to maintain election promises to protect old forests.

The definition of old forest was created in 2001 to preserve WA forests of high ecological value from logging.

WA Forest Alliance convenor Jess Beckering said loopholes in legislation meant sections in habitats like the Karri forest in WA’s south west were not protected.

“People are angry and dismayed when they find out that this is still happening, particularly to forests that they thought were all getting protected back in 2001,”  she said.

“Our proposal is that all these areas should immediately be conserved in national parks.

“Labor came to our launches and told us that if they were elected they would immediately conserve high value conservation forests.

“We recognise that Labor have done a lot of good important things since being elected but forests really do need to be on their agenda.” 

Forestry Minister Dave Kelly said the McGowan government reaffirmed this commitment when they were elected in March 2017.

“The McGowan government, like Labor governments of the past, takes the conservation of our old-growth forests very seriously,” he said.

“After all, it was the Gallop Labor Government that stopped the harvesting of old-growth forests in 2002.

“Just over 2.5 million hectares of land is managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions under the current Forest Management Plan.

“Harvested areas are sustainably managed to produce timber as well as protect WA’s plants and animals.”

Event attendee Cath Price said these issues were not something to be proud of.

“I’m a parent and a West Australian local and I’m just becoming more and more concerned about the logging that’s happening down south in our high conservation value forests,” she said.

“I felt really motivated given the connection to my own children to stand up and get involved.” 

Cath Price at the protest.

Australia currently loses more animals through extinction than any other country in the world.