Forestry Corporation faces $18 million fines for destroying koala habitat, giant trees and hollow trees

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is suing Forestry Corporation for allegedly felling six “giant trees” and seven “hollow trees” and other violations of koala habitat in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest in the interior of Coffs Harbor on the North Central Coast. [1]

The nine alleged offenses carry a potential fine of $2 million each. Together, the breaches expose the NSW government logging company and taxpayers who subsidize the company’s operations to fines potentially up to $18 million.

This is the fifth time the state logging company has been sued or fined by the courts in the past four weeks.

As a result, Forestry Corporation was ordered to pay fines and costs of $530,600 in the last month alone. [2]

“What will it take for the Forestry Corporation to end its reckless disregard for our forests and our environmental laws?” said Nature Conservancy Council acting chief executive Jacqui Mumford.

“Forestry Corp is operating at a loss of millions of dollars, subsidized by the taxpayer and still not operating legally.

“At the end of the day, it is the taxpayers who will pay these fines.

“We have the intolerable situation where the public is not only being forced to subsidize the destruction of our native forests by supporting the loss-making operations of the Forestry Corporation, but we are also paying the fines of this rogue corporation. This must stop.

“Forestry Corp behaves like an outlaw organization, not a government agency responsible for managing two million hectares of public forests.

“Why has Responsible Minister Dugald Saunders been silent on this issue for the past month.

“Mr Saunders should publicly state whether he has confidence in the management of the organization and what steps he has taken to bring it into compliance.

“The government must put in place a full independent review of the Forestry Corporation to ensure it is acting in a legal and sustainable manner.”


[1] EPA launches another FCNSW lawsuit over alleged forestry infractions, NSW EPA, July 12, 2022

[2] Forestry Corp fined $530,000 this month for irresponsible and illegal environmental behavior, Nature Conservation Council, July 1, 2022

Forestry Corp fines and lawsuits since 2020

  1. July 2022 – Forestry Corporation NSW fined for forestry activities near Coffs Harbor
  1. June 2022 – FCNSW fined $230,000 by Land and Environmental Court
  1. June 2022 – EPA fines FCNSW $15,000 for allegedly failing to comply with conditions after the South Broman State Forest fire.
  1. June 2022 – EPA is suing FCNSW for alleged violations of post-fire conditions in Yambulla State Forest near Eden after the 2019/20 bushfires.
  1. June 2022 – $138,000 – Wild Cattle Creek State Forest
  1. April 2022 – $45,000 – Mogo State Forest
  1. February 2021 – $15,000 – Olney State Forest
  1. February 2021 – $30,000 – Ballengarra State Forest
  1. March 2021 – $33,000 – Boyne, Bodalla and Mogo State Forest
  1. April 2020 – $31,100 – Tantawangalo and Bago State Forest
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Luisa D. Fuller