The 'Man from Ironbark' arrives at NSW Parliament house today to deliver a message from peak environment groups to completely phase out ironbark harvesting in north western NSW and to immediately protect important western woodlands in the region.
The NSW State Government is close to making a decision on the future of western woodlands in the Brigalow Belt South bioregion of north west NSW. Most of these temperate woodlands have been cleared for agriculture while the Ironbark has been heavily logged to make railway sleepers, fence posts and firewood.
'The Ironbark has featured in Australian culture including Banjo Paterson's famous poem 'The Man from Ironbark". Ironbark woodlands once covered vast areas of New South Wales,' said Bev Smiles from Western Conservation Alliance.
'The Man from Ironbark will call upon the NSW Government to completely phase out the ironbark industry in Brigalow Belt South because the few remaining stands are critical for the future of many endangered species, such as the Black-striped wallaby and regent honeyeater' said Andrew Cox, National Parks Association of NSW.
'Ironbark woodlands are more threatened than rainforests in Australia. The NSW Government's decision on the protection of woodlands in Brigalow Belt South has national significance,' said Francesca Andreoni, NSW Campaign Manager for The Wilderness Society. 'The environment movement is closely watching this landmark opportunity.'
Representatives of the States major environment groups are gathering at Parliament House at 12pm today to hear the Ghost of the Man from Ironbark.
PRESS CONFERENCE AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE 1.10pm
Andrew Cox, NPA NSW, (02) 9299 0000; 0438 588 040
Francesca Andreoni, TWS, (02) 9282 9553; 0419 266 950