An embassy camp has been formed in response to active logging taking place within the Nambucca State Forest in northern NSW over sites that hold significant cultural value to the local Gumbaynggirr People.
There have also been concerns about the lack of transparency from Forestry Corporation who have avoided community consultation processes and ignored contact and questions from the community.
Sandy Greenwood, Gumbaynggirr custodian and spokesperson says that “The NSW Forestry Corporation have been given the permission to log 140,000 hectares of coastal forests from Taree to Grafton which they refer to as "intensive harvesting zones."
“If we don't act now our deeply significant cultural heritage will be desecrated, our beautiful old growth trees will be logged, rare flora will become extinct and our koalas and endangered species will literally have nowhere else to go," she says.
The camp, which is being led by the Gumbaynggirr community, is being supported by locals and various environmental groups. There is wide concern that the forest is one of the few remaining endangered Koala habitats of its kind in the area.
Locals are further questioning the plans to log the area after thousands of hectares of nearby forest was burnt in the 2019/20 bushfires.
The concern is that more deforestation after the destruction of bushfires will push endangered wildlife towards extinction.
This camp hopes to draw attention to the loss of native forests and important habitat for low-grade timber uses such as woodchip and paper.
The Gumabynggirr people are calling on the NSW Government to establish a new cultural heritage area that will safeguard cultural sites and endangered species, protect water catchments and boost local jobs in land management and tourism.
Image: Burrawan State Forest / Forestry Corporation