News - 04 April 2023

Logging destruction at Kooparoona Niara (Great Western Tiers), as ignored local community bears witness

The logging fire at Quamby Bluff.

Hundreds of tonnes of wasted wood at an area of high conservation value forest at Quamby Bluff on the boundary of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area have been torched by Forestry Tasmania (trading as ‘Sustainable Timber Tasmania’ (FT/STT)).

On Sunday April 2, local residents gathered to witness the logging fire and have since written to Tasmania’s Minister for Resources Felix Ellis MP and FT/STT asking them to cancel future plans to ‘selectively’ log an additional 200 hectares of forests adjacent to the forests that have been clearfelled and burned.

“FT/STT said it would ‘selectively’ log this 200ha forest but, at the last minute, changed its plans to clearfell it instead. Despite Sean Cadman being a registered local stakeholder with FT/STT, local residents were not informed of this change. This is despite requests to be consulted on logging plans and long-held opposition to clearfelling on Quamby Bluff and in wider Kooparoona Niara region,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society Tasmania.

This is now the subject of a complaint by Sean Cadman, former forest campaigner with the Wilderness Society, on behalf of the local community.

“True to form, this treatment is yet another example of FT/STT’s contempt for transparency, the right to know and local community rights,” said Mr Allen.

“Autumn in Lutruwita/Tasmania is the season of logging fires, when thousands of tonnes of wasted wood and trashed forest is needlessly burned to get it out of the way, dumping the pollution and CO2 emissions into the public airspace. FT/STT intends to inflict more than 200 logging fires on the community this season alone.

“Witnesses on the ground revealed the forest floor was strewn with tonnes of wood, including large stumps and trunks with hollows visible, demonstrating the age and habitat suitability of this forest for threatened animals like wedge-tailed eagles, masked owls, quolls and Tasmanian devils.

“Like all land in Lutruwita/Tasmania, this is Aboriginal land and these are Aboriginal forests, logged and burned without the permission of the Palawa people neither sought nor obtained by Forestry Tasmania.

“The Kooparoona Niara region is particularly significant for the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and is the subject of a ground-breaking Aboriginal community proposal that could see it become returned to its rightful owners and be owned, run and managed by the Palawa community.

“Continuing to log and burn forests at Kooparoona Niara - forests indistinguishable from those within the World Heritage Area a few hundred metres away destroys this possible future national park’s cultural heritage and natural values,” said Mr Allen.

For further comment contact Tom Allen on 0434 614 323.