Media, Politicians and the Parliament

We documented the progress and sent the information to Linda who continued writing the blog, posted and shared. It did not take long before petitions started and thousands of people from all over the world wrote letters to Politicians, Journalists, Wildlife Land Trust, Humane Society International, IFAW, RSPCA, NSW Wildlife Council, EPA, Forestry Corporation, etc…. Media releases were published and the story of the Glenbog wombats were covered by most media agencies. From Sun-Herald, ABC, Canberra Times, News.com, Radio interviews, media agencies in the USA, UK, Japan and many other countries, as well as the local papers. _click on the links below.

Some of the media:

Wombats buried alive by logging company, Sydney Morning Herald.

Wombat deaths: Government investigates “What went wrong” Sydney Morning Herald.

Wombats buried by logging company in Glenbog State Forest in possible deliberate marsupial massacre. News.com

‘Wombats CANNOT dig themselves out of burrows and end up suffocating to DEATH’ a WARNING to loggers. Daily Mail, UK

Primary Industries Minister questioned over possible destruction to wombat burrows in NSW South East. ABC Sydney

Tough punishment wanted as wombats are ‘buried alive’, ABC South East

Baird Government sacrifices wombats in quest for woodchip. Independent Australia.

I found a way to save the Glenbog wombats, IFAW

Wombats buried alive, NSW Wildlife Council

Glenbog State Forest hugely negligent to wildlife. Can do better.

Wombats are‘buried alive’, Chipstop.savetheforests.org

AJP Condemns Glenbog State Forest wombat massacre, Animal Justice Party

Speech in Parliament by Senator Lee Rhiannon Greens, Logging and cruelty in Glenbog State Forest.

Careless killing of wombats in Glenbog State Forest, David Shoebridge Greens.

Wombats, Logging and Glenbog State Forest. David Shoebridge Greens.

David Shoebridge's visit to Glenbog; video clip number 1

David Shoebridge's visit to Glenbog; video clip number 2

David Shoebridge's visit to Glenbog; video clip number 3

David Shoebridge's visit to Glenbog; video clip number 4

and the Glenbog Blog

Glenbog Blog

Quote from Senator Lee Rhiannon's speach in Parliament._whole speach click link above

"As I mentioned, there is an international aspect to this matter. Some Japanese campaigners who came to the Glenbog State Forest were so deeply troubled by what they saw that the organisation The Japan Tropical Forest Action Network has also taken up this campaign, informing clients of Nippon Paper of the devastating consequences for wombats from the logging and woodchipping of its subsidiary South East Fibre Exports. The disastrous impact on the wombat population in Glenbog State Forest could be solved quite easily by ending the logging of our native forests."

We had visits from Mr David Shoebridge MLC, Senator Lee Rhiannon and Senator Janet Rice, campaigners from Japan, members of SERCA (South East Regional Conservation Alliance) and many others who we guided through the forest for a first-hand vision of the tragedy.

IN PARLIAMENT

The below questions, were asked in Parliament Legislative Council by Mr David Shoebridge MLC to Primary Industries Minister The Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson regarding the NSW Forestry Corporation’s failure to comply with our agreement.

BUDGET ESTIMATES 2014-2015

General Purpose Standing Committee No. 5
PRIMARY INDUSTRIES
Monday 18 August 2014

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Glenbog wombats

12. What action will be taken against the contractor for damage to wombat burrow?
ANSWER

The Forestry Corporation of NSW is investigating the incident. The appropriate action will be determined once this investigation has concluded.

13. What steps have been taken to ensure this does not happen again?
ANSWER

The investigation will look at opportunities for continuous improvement. Appropriate actions will be determined once the investigation has concluded.

14. Given the existence of voluntary measures and a claimed 2,000 prescriptions were not sufficient to protect these burrows, what changes is the Minister proposing to make to the regulations?
ANSWER

Forestry activities are regulated by the Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs), which contain appropriate measures for protecting wildlife across the landscape. The Forestry Corporation of NSW is committed to continuously improving its operations to minimise any environmental impact as a result of harvest operations.

15. Will any action be action against the contractor for damage to wombat burrow?
ANSWER

The Forestry Corporation of NSW is investigating the incident. The appropriate action will be determined once the investigation has concluded.

16. Regarding the logging of Glenbog State Forest Compartments 2301, 11 and 21:
(a) What factors were responsible for the suspension of logging in the vicinity of Log Dump F in the week ending 15 August 2014?
(b) When did the Forestry Corporation become aware of these factors?
(c) Why were these factors not known or acted upon before the logging commenced?
(d) Which contractor was engaged to undertake the logging of Glenbog Cpts 2301, 11 and 21?
ANSWER
a) Allegations were published in the media relating to deliberate breaches of the harvest plan. Forestry Corporation of NSW is investigating the incident.
b) The allegations were published on Sunday 10 August 2014.
c) No allegations of deliberate breaches of the harvest plan were brought to the attention of the Forestry Corporation of NSW before harvesting commenced.
d) The Forestry Corporation of NSW’s contracts relating to timber harvesting in Glenbog State Forest are with Blue Ridge Hardwoods and South East Fibre Exports. Harvesting contractors are engaged by these companies directly.

17. Will the principle of avoiding logging in the vicinity of wombat burrows be applied in future logging operations?
(a) If so, will this be done on a case by case basis or will a requirement be incorporated into the IFOAs.
(b) If not, why not?
ANSWER
NO.
a) N/A
b) The harvest plan instruction in Glenbog State Forest was to avoid damage to wombat burrows as far as practicable, not to avoid harvesting in the vicinity. The Forestry Corporation of NSW’s ecologists make an assessment of the appropriate environmental prescriptions to apply within the framework of the IFOA and other related legislation when planning each compartment

Part of David Shoebridge’s speech in Parliament: for full speech click link Wombats, Logging and Glenbog State Forest.

“Yesterday morning I visited Glenbog State Forest in the south of New South Wales to join local wildlife carers and forestry protectors to examine the impact of recent logging operations on the forest and in particular on the wombats which make that forest their home. Glenbog State Forest is located between Nimmitabel and Bemboka just off the Snowy Mountains Highway. While there I met with Marie and Ray Wynan from Wildlife Rescue Far South Coast [WRSC]. Marie and Ray run their wildlife rescue operation from their property next to Glenbog State Forest. They were directly involved in recording the location of wombat burrows in the forest before logging operations commenced earlier this year……………………..

I conclude by thanking Marie and Ray for taking me around Glenbog and for introducing me to the rescued wombats and joeys currently in their care. Anyone who has seen Marie nursing Willow, a 10-kilogram injured wombat, on her knee while feeding him a bottle could not help but want to support this work. I also thank Harriet Swift, John Perkins and all the wonderful forest protectors who are part of the South East Region Conservation Alliance Inc. for their continued work in our forests. I have nothing but admiration for the selfless volunteers and activists who work to protect animals and the native forests in which they live. As a Parliament we should do everything we can to support them in this work.”

And more from Mr David Shoebridge in the Parliament:

When the Minister and the bureaucrats were pressed on what “disturbed” meant this was the evidence:

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: When it said a number of burrows had been disturbed, what did that mean? Does that mean buried?
Ms KATRINA HODGKINSON: It means disturbed.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: I am asking you what that means. I am asking you if it means buried covered over so that wombats are buried
Mr HANSEN (Director General, Department of Primary Industries): It can be a range of issues disturbing the burrows: whether it has been covered with fallen debris, whether it has been covered with soil or whether there is compaction—
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Basically, though, the wombat cannot get out. Is that right? That is what it means; that is a summary of it?
Mr HANSEN: Yes, that the access has been impeded in one way or another. The information we have is that of the 150 burrows that have been marked, it is alleged that 11 have been disturbed, and that is what is currently under investigation.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: How did it happen, Mr Hansen, through you, Minister, that despite them being given the GPS coordinates, 11 of them were, to use the euphemism that you apply, disturbed?
Ms KATRINA HODGKINSON: I would say that the word “disturbed” is the appropriate word at this point in time and Forestry Corporation—
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: I do not mean to debate the word; I just want to know how it happened.
Ms KATRINA HODGKINSON: —is continuing its investigations …”.

A full script can be viewed on www.parliament.nsw.gov.au