17 December, 2011

Parker moves to amend NSW logging laws

NSW political reporter Mark Tobin
ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), Updated December 17, 2011 

New South Wales Environment Minister Robyn Parker is moving to amend laws which will allow Forests NSW to harm the endangered population of the yellow-bellied glider on the state's far south.

The documents show Ms Parker is planning changes to the Threatened Species Conservation Act which "authorises harm to the endangered population of the yellow-bellied glider of the Bago Plateau".

Opposition environment spokesman Luke Foley says it is disgraceful.

"Robyn Parker said logging protects koalas, she is now moving to allow logging of habitat of endangered yellow-bellied glider," Mr Foley said.

"The yellow-bellied glider is facing the very real risk of extinction and the NSW Environment Minister is doing everything she can to wipe out this endangered Australian marsupial."

In 2008 the NSW Scientific Committee warned the yellow-bellied glider is "facing a very high risk of extinction…in the near future".

Ms Parker has dismissed the concerns.

"An amendment has been made to reflect updated information about the habitat preferences of the yellow-bellied glider," she said in a statement.

“This amendment restricts Forests NSW logging to areas of low quality yellow-bellied glider habitat on the Bago Plateau.

"Logging in areas of medium and high quality habitat is prohibited until a scientifically rigorous population management plan has been signed off by the EPA.”

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