Apr 8, 2010

Ep. 98 Logging in south-east NSW, Melanesian customary land and more!

Click to Download: Ep. 98 Logging in south-east NSW, Melanesian customary land and more!

Aired on 2ser 107.3 - April 1st 2010

Logging in South-East NSW

Today we took a look at the state of affairs in south-eastern NSW. Earlier this week, more controversial logging operations commenced in the Mumbulla state forest, south of Bermagui. This decision has encountered much criticism because the area has been identified as a key habitat for the remaining koala population of the region.

Logging was stalled yesterday after a local resident found traces of a koala 2 kilometres away from the logging site. There will be a delay before logging resumes, though it is not yet known how long this could be, and local residents are concerned that the stop work order may not be taken seriously.

Libby spoke with convenor of the local group, Chip Stop, Harriet Smith.

There are only 30-50 individual koalas in this southern population, which some suggest makes these koalas eligible for “endangered” status. Technicalities aside, it seems short sighted of the NSW Government to approve logging when it directly and further endangers the koalas.

Hannah spoke with Elly Stalenberg, a local biologist doing a research project on the koalas in Mumbulla State Forest, to get the rundown on what this koala population needs to survive.

Timber waste power plant

There are also plans to create a timber waste power plant at the Eden woodchip mill. Local residents are concerned about the toxic pollution that would result from the burning of so much wood. There is also controversy because emissions from wood burning do not count under the Kyoto protocol, even though native trees are very carbon dense and actually release a lot of C02 into the atmosphere through the different processes involved in timber waste power production.

Libby spoke with spokesperson for South East region Conservation Alliance, Prue Acton.

Indigenous land rights in Melanesia

The majority of people in Melanesian countries rely on subsistence agriculture on customary land for their livelihood. However such an existence is being threatened by the Australian Government’s aid policies.

This land reform is aimed at attracting foreign investment, which would develop mining and forestry industries, and establish commercial plantations such as palm oil. However, customary landowners are concerned about the impacts that the transformation of customary lands will have on their cultures, economies, livelihoods and environments.

The 3rd Degree’s Eric Ireland spoke to Director of the Land Desk at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre in Port Vila, Vanuatu, Joel Simo and Campaigns Manager for the Bismarck Ramu Group, a local community development and conservation NGO based in Madang, Papua New Guinea, Steven Sukot.

Statement from Muckaty Traditional Owners

The Northern Land Council (NLC) recently supported a large group of Muckaty Traditional Owners to visit the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney and present at the Senate Inquiry in Canberra. Muckaty Traditional Owners from the Milwayi group issued a statement in response, which we read on air.

Presenters: Hannah Walters and Libby King

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