An Inconvenient Truth: The 7,000 Taking Fight to NSW Hardwoods

Wood Central Contributor Jack Rodden-Green is following the money as ENGO's push to boost charitable donations ahead of June 30, 2024.

Mon 24 Jun 24


At 9.20 AM on 22 June 2024, Jacqui@Nature Conservation Council sent a broadcast email calling for donations.

The first thing that grabs your attention is a koala on the ground against a backdrop with a foreground of fallen timbers of some age and native trees behind this scattered timber on the ground.

On closer inspection, it is clear the koala is a cutout image and has been imposed on the background photo.  It is easy to tell as the koala is out of scale with the background—the first misrepresentation!

Presumably, the intent is to create an emotional response without any actual or real information.

The second thing that catches your attention in the first paragraph is the phrase: “We’ve seen an overwhelming response from the community, with a whopping 7000 people supporting our campaign.”

The word “whopping” to describe 7000 people is the next misrepresentation.

The latest financial returns on the webpage of the Australia Charities and Not-for-profit Association (ACNC) include the returns of the National Conservation Council of NSW (NCC), stating that it operates in NSW.

The estimated population of Sydney in 2024 is 5,184,896. For NSW, the population forecast is 8,414,000. The 7000 whopping community support is 0.0832% of the 2024 NSW population and 0.135% of the Sydney 2024 population.

A new study by the Australian Climate Council across all electorates in Australia shows that around 3.6% of all properties (520,944) or one in every 25 properties will be uninsurable due to climate change. (Photo Credit: emneemsphotos via Envato Elements)
Out of more than 5 million Sydney residents, 7,000 have voiced support for the Nature Conservation Council campaign (Photo Credit: emneemsphotos via Envato Elements)

Whopping means very large.  These percentages are anything but large.

Given the Green vote averages 10% of the population, the 7000 is a whopping distance from where it should be.  For NSW, 841,400 people should have signed the petition.  For Sydney, the figure is 518,489—a whopping difference from what was actually obtained.

Jacqui reason for donations is, as she writes:

Members of the NSW Parliament need to see the destruction of the proposed Great Koala National Park for themselves. They need to talk with the communities in these areas and see the impact it is having on them.

Jacqui Mumford, CEO of the Nature Conservation Council

There are three things here that need to be explained:

Today, following the sending of this broadcast email, a “mob” of NSW Parliamentarians will go bush to visit native forestry operations. No one is collecting donations for these trips.

At the end of 2023, another mob of NSW Parliamentarians went bush to examine native forestry operations. No one collected donations for them to attend.

And it is not only NSW parliamentarians who are visiting native forestry operations.  Local Councillors who seek to be properly informed are requesting formal briefings.

These briefings ensure that feed, hollow-bearing, and any classified “old-growth” trees remain protected. These requirements arise from the toughest approval conditions in the Western world.

3,400 Clarence Valley residents responded to a motion banning native forestry

Regarding talking to communities, one has to ask what communities have been picked.

In August 2023, Clarence Valley received 3,400 written submissions from its community following assertions from the Council’s Biodiversity Advisory Committee that failed to meet the standards of the Council’s Charter on multiple fronts. The Committee, in June 2023, attempted to push through a motion to ban native forestry in the Council area.

The estimated population of the Clarence Valley Council in 2023 was 55,323. The percentage of people who wrote a submission is 3.6%!

More than 200 supporters were at the Clarence Valley Council Maclean Chambers, with attendees telling the Wood Central publisher that chamber seating is "oversubscribed." (Photo Credit: Supplied)
More than 200 supporters attended the Clarence Valley Council Maclean Chambers, with attendees telling the Wood Central publisher that chamber seating is “oversubscribed.” (Photo Credit: Supplied)

One wonders if NCC will speak to this community. 

Given the content of the email broadcast, one is sure the NCC will want to hear about the impact native forestry has on their lives in this community.  An impact that either pays the bills directly through employment or operating a small business or all the flow for companies that have people spend their earnings from the timber industry.  Then there are the school teachers, health officials and others in the local service industry who have jobs because of the size of the community.  A community that would be much diminished if the timber industry was stopped.

It is clear that this is not what NCC seek to hear.  Maybe this is another misrepresentation.

Let us look at two other issues stated in the email broadcast:

Dates have not been provided. There is no date for the planned parliamentarian visit, and there is no date by which the donation is to be given.

However, the end of the financial year, 30 June, is seven calendar days from the date of sending! NCC is a charitable organisation. This means that it has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. Any donations given to NCC are deductible to the donor as an income tax deduction in the financial year of the donation. One might surmise that the timing of the email broadcast was good. 

One also might surmise that this is the “whopping” (large) reason for the communication!

NCC has moved its office from Surry Hills to 180 George St Sydney.

The building to which they have moved is Salesforce Tower, which has 55 Floors. It is a prestigious address within a stone’s throw of Circular Quay and not a place for cheap rental.

What is the rent of this office?  Is it a large corporate gift? If not, no wonder calls for donations are a necessity.

Those interested can check out the available financials for the NCC here and draw your own conclusions!


  • Jack Rodden-Green

    Jack Rodden-Green, with 30 years of experience as a forester in New South Wales, combines a deep understanding of forestry with legal training to address social and environmental issues.


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