An environmental activist was arrested this morning, after members of forest defence groups took action against Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW), calling for the end to public native forest logging in NSW.
Members of Forest Defence NSW, South East Forest Rescue and the Bob Brown Foundation formed a blockade at the main access road leading to the FCNSW headquarters in West Pennant Hills, Sydney on Tuesday, November 21.
The group gathered before dawn, with Dr Lisa Searle turning herself into a human padlock attached to the access road's gate, while other protesters assembled with signs around the entrance.
"I am facing arrest today for standing up for our precious native forests. This is a small price to pay to give a voice to these creatures who desperately need our help," said Dr Searle.
The groups wanted to send a strong message to FCNSW and the NSW government, in order to protect threatened and endangered species.
Dr Searle was arrested after officers were called to the headquarters and dismantled the blockade.
NSW Greens MP, Sue Higginson, said the action was taken because FCNSW were directly responsible for the "dangerous and damaging" logging of public forest that serve as "vital refuges for koalas".
"It is devastating for communities who know and witness the harm that is happening in our public native forests," she said.
The protest follows a run of Stop Work Orders issued by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to FCNSW along the South Coast of NSW.
On November 10, the EPA issued a second extension of its Stop Work Order against FCNSW at Tallaganda State Forest for failing to address alleged deficiencies in searching for and protection of southern greater glider den trees.
Another Stop Work Order was issued by the EPA against FCNSW in parts of the Flat Rock State Forest on November 14, also over concerns about the southern greater glider and its habitats.
The activists believe these incidents shed light on the shortcomings of FCNSW in safeguarding the state's threatened species and raised concerns about the state-owned enterprise's reliability in managing NSW forests effectively.
Dr Searle said the destruction of Australia's remaining native forests has to stop.
"Threatened and endangered species like the (southern) greater glider and the iconic koala are being pushed further and further to the brink of extinction every day, at the hands of FCNSW and the government," she said.
"The hour is later than we think, and we have to stop this industry for good, before these and other species are lost forever.
"We will continue taking action against native forest logging for as long as it takes to stop this industry and give these forests the protection they so desperately need."
The activists are strongly urging the NSW government to thoroughly examine the evidence and take immediate action to halt native forest logging.
"Our forests are worth so much more than wood chips and low value products like firewood, pallets and fence posts," said Ms Higginson.
"The laws around logging and our environment are broken and failing and the Minns Labor Government knows it."
The Forestry Corporation of NSW has been contacted for comment.
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