Wood Central Reveals 106 NSW Koala Hubs Banned From Forestry

Today’s announcement is the first step as powerbrokers in the NSW Government push for the Great Koala National Park

Wed 13 Sep 23


Wood Central has uncovered the 106 ‘koala hubs’ that have now been closed as part of the Great Koala National Park assessment.

As revealed in a series of geospace maps, Wood Central reports that a scattering of white dots represents the hubs or zones now closed off by the NSW Government.

The white outline, identified in Wood Central’s feature image, represents the entire area of the proposed Park.

The green outline is the State Forest – currently managed by NSW Forestry Corporation – flagged for inclusion in the Park, whilst the Red areas represent the coups identified for harvesting as of August 2023.

The highest impact areas include coups near Bongil Bongil National Park and Karangi and Upper Orara, close to Coffs Harbour.

According to an anonymous source connected to the decision, the new zones will cut through vast forest areas “like Swiss cheese” and will represent 1% of the total State Forest area in North-East New South Wales.

Earlier this afternoon, the NSW Environmental Minister, Penny Sharp, announced that the decision to close coups represented “the most significant environmental commitment undertaken in NSW history. 

The Minister said that the decision to close the coups “is essential to save koalas from extinction.”

Zones identified in the Cascade and Tyringham regions will also have the highest impact.

Wood Central can now reveal that the Great Koala National Park will come into force before the end of 2024 – with the 106 coups, which make up 8,400 hectares of State Forests – becoming permanent exclusion zones never to be touched.

The assessment will lead to a change to the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (Coastal IFOA), which sets out the rules for how native forestry operations are managed and regulated in state forests in the coastal regions of NSW.

It can also confirm that the total 175,000 hectares of forest which constitute the proposed Great Koala National Park will be assessed over the next 15 months as the Minns Government charters “next steps.”

The process of establishing the new Park will involve three components:
  • An independent economic and social assessment which will consider the impacts on local jobs and communities
  • The establishment of industry, community and Aboriginal advisory panels to provide input to the creation of the Park
  • An expert environmental and cultural heritage assessment to safeguard the region’s unique environmental and cultural heritage and ensure the Great Koala National Park aligns with the highest environmental protection standards and respect for cultural heritage.

The anonymous source said that the plan follows the ‘NSW Koala Strategy’ prepared by the previous NSW Liberal Government, developed by former Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Environmental Minister Matt Kean.

The strategy is a four-pillar approach aiming to double Koala numbers in NSW by 2050. 

According to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the plan represents “the biggest commitment by any government to secure koalas in the wild.”

It also supports a range of conservation actions that will provide more habitat for koalas, help local community action, improve koala safety and health, and build our knowledge to enhance koala conservation.

The Koala hubs cover approximately 5% of the Great Koala National Park assessment area but contain 42% of recorded koala sightings in state forests in the assessment area since 2000.

Wood Central has mapped the available timber supply over the proposed Great Koala National Park.

Wood Central understands that separate court actions, unrelated to the Great Koala National Park, are also being undertaken by ENGOs using the Environmental Defenders Office over Newry, Braemar, Myrtle and Cherry Tree State Forests.

  • Wood Central will update the story as more information becomes available.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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