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Bermagui forests deserve protection: Brown.

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Bob Brown

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

Friday, 28 November 2008

Bermagui forests deserve protection: Brown Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown will call for important koala habitat to be saved from logging, when he addresses a community meeting at Bermagui, on the New South Wales south coast tonight.

Senator Brown plans to visit Bermagui's forests today and speak at a community meeting at Bermagui Community Hall in the evening (7pm).

The Bermagui logging has been highly contentious because it may be habitat for the last known koalas on the far south coast.

Senator Brown said that areas to the south of Bermagui are also slated for logging.

"The forests are home to hundreds of species - and are especially important for koalas already under threat from climate change. We all know that fragmenting habitat leads to species extinction."

“Native forests in south-eastern Australia are among the most carbon-dense in the world. They are our best carbon stores and should be left to contribute to cooling the planet."

Senator Brown said that the south coast forests had been ravaged by woodchipping over many decades but were still well placed to store far more carbon than plantations, and would be more resilient carbon banks in the event of climate change.

“According to Australian National University research published recently, native forests can capture 135 Mt CO2 a year for the next 100 years, equivalent to 24% of Australia’s total carbon emissions in 2005 if left undisturbed.”

Senator Brown said the logging of forests and woodlands generates almost 20 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and yet is being treated in the Emissions Trading Scheme as carbon neutral.

Senator Brown said that every native forest was valuable as habitat, as a carbon bank, and as a tourism resource and it was a credit to the far south coast community that it has taken such a strong stand against logging at Bermagui.

For further information, contact Alison Hetherington 0438 962 998