‘Dead koala’ electric shock for visitors

VISITORS to the region over Easter have heard about the logging threat to the Mumbulla koalas, according to forest campaigners who took their message to top tourist spots over the long weekend.

However, few were aware of what has been termed the “dead koala” power plans for the Eden chipmill.

To help spread the message and to provide information on the issue, stalls were set up at the Mumbulla Falls and the Four Winds Festival.

One of the organisers, Harriett Swift said that most Mumbulla Falls visitors were “horrified when they realised that it was the beautiful forest through which they had just travelled - the stronghold of possibly the last koalas in the region - that is set to be logged”.

Ms Swift said some stopped to inspect the logging that has already occurred, taking advantage of temporary reopening of roads around the logging site.

“However, it was plans for a wood-fired power station at the Eden chipmill that visitors found even more shocking,” she said.

“A common reaction was disbelief when we explained that approval for the power station could be just weeks away and that the chipmill intends to sell its wood-fired power as renewable energy.

“Electricity generated from native forest wood is known inside the industry as ‘dead koala’ power in recognition of the fact that electricity consumers don’t want it and won’t buy it.”

“Without ongoing woodchipping of a million tonnes of native forest trees every year there will be no fuel for this power station.

“We received encouragement for our efforts last week to stop the koala habitat logging and will maintain our presence in the forest next week if the woodchippers attempt to resume work,” she said.

Ms Swift said that in the first week of campaigning since koala logging started the issue has received media coverage in countries on every continent.

“We aim to maintain that this week,” she said.

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