Review to check for old growth

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
The DBCA are reassessing a coupe of forest west of Bridgetown to determine whether it is old-growth forest.
Camera IconThe DBCA are reassessing a coupe of forest west of Bridgetown to determine whether it is old-growth forest. Credit: South Western Times

Action by protestors has caused the State Government to reconsider whether a coupe of forest west of Bridgetown in Dalgarup contains old-growth trees.

A spokeswoman said on Thursday afternoon the Government requested the Department of Biosecurity, Conservation and Attractions to ensure the planned harvest did not contain areas of unmapped old-growth forest, calling a halt to logging operations on site.

“DBCA will be visiting Dalgarup to ensure there are no areas of unmapped old-growth forest in the remaining area planned for harvest,” she said.

“Harvesting in the area has been temporarily suspended to allow DBCA representatives to conduct this review.”

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Protestors attended the proposed logging site, with police in attendance to ensure that Forest Products Commission staff could continue to work.

Bridgetown police officer-in-charge Sgt Phil Nation said the protesters that police had spoken to were civil and followed police directions.

Forest Industries Federation WA deputy executive Matt Granger said the decision showed the State Government had learnt nothing from prior dealings with activists.

“This action is not justified,” he said. “It’s a massive breach of process and feeds future disruptive behaviour by these activists.”

WA Forest Alliance convener Jess Beckerling said the coupe was some of best jarrah forest left in the South West.

“It is recommended for protection in the Environmental Protection Authority Redbook for recommended conservation reserves and it was also originally within the boundaries of the proposed Dalgarup National Park,” she said.

“The old-growth definition in WA is broken and it doesn’t protect all the old-growth forests.”

The State Government spokeswoman said a review was appropriate in this situation.

“Our native forestry industry relies on its social licence to operate,” she said.

“It is appropriate in this instance that the concerns raised by the community are reviewed.”

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