Community members have rallied together to help save the Banyabba Koalas.
Community members have rallied together to help save the Banyabba Koalas.

Logging protesters set up camp in forest near Casino

LOCAL community members have rallied together in the Myrtle State Forest near Casino to stop attempted logging in the area and protect the koala population.

The group, known as Save Banyabba Koalas, set up a small camp at the forest to prevent any logging machinery from entering the area.

In a small win for the group, the logging has been delayed for a few weeks due to a complaint being lodged with the EPA, which they will now investigate.

"It was scheduled to go ahead (on Monday, August 24) but because Dailan (Pugh) complained to the EPA about exclusion zones in the logging compartment not being done correctly, the EPA have taken that up and logging will now be halted for a few weeks," Naomi Shine said.

Ms Shine said koalas faced a bleak future in the area if logging did occur.

"I went out a few weeks after the bushfires with Dailan (Pugh) to look around for evidence of koalas and we found dead koalas west of Rappville … their numbers have been decimated by the fires and any logging the disrupts their habitat could threaten their lives," she said.

Ms Shine said the state of the forest, which had been impacted by bushfires, showed it needed regrowth and protection.

"It's a very devastated looking forest at the roadside here, it's burnt black, there's some regeneration of the trees at the top … the logging over many years has reduced the diversity of the tree types.," she said.

"It actually is a pretty devastated looking piece of bush."

The anti-logging protest is also about the impending climate crisis set to afflict the globe, according to Ms Shine.

"We'd love for a lot of these state forest to be set aside for natural ecosystems and preventing the koala from being extinct," she said.

"Not only can we save fire-recovering koalas, but we can allow these forests to absorb carbon to fight climate change, stimulate water cycles to reduce drought and protect sacred Bandjalang areas for incredible cultural heritage."

For more details on the group, search Save Banyabba Koalas on Facebook.