Fresh photos from the protest:
The story so far:
Local environment groups will re-enacted the loss of habitat tree ‘Big Ol Grey’’ outside the Forestry Corporation office at the Jetty at this morning (Wednesday).
Big Ol Grey was a giant Grey gum, designated to be retained as a habitat tree, that was pushed over by logging operators. It was located in Gladstone State Forest at Sunny Corner about five km south of Bellingen.
The tree was 1.5m in diameter, possibly the biggest tree in the forest, and a preferred koala food tree, with numerous koala scratch marks covering its bark, as well as numerous hollows for wildlife, a beehive in its trunk and hosting a large native orchid.
Activists erected a 30ft high replica of Big Ol Grey in front of the Forest Corporation Office, accompanied by “49 koalas”, representing the forty nine koala records the Forestry Corporation has made over the last 20 years in this part of Gladstone Forest.
The Bellingen Environment Centre said 49 koala records in anyone else’s terms would constitute a koala hotspot to be protected.
Koala habitat modelling by the NSW Department of Primary Industry, Forest Research Branch shows that within a radius of 20 km of Bellingen there appears to be more koala habitat than around any other town on the North Coast.