Barrabup conservation group headed to parliament

The Barrabup Conservation Group will head to the WA Parliament on Wednesday, September 13 to hand over a petition calling on the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson to declare the forest a formal conservation area.
The Barrabup Conservation Group will head to the WA Parliament on Wednesday, September 13 to hand over a petition calling on the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson to declare the forest a formal conservation area.

Nannup community members working to save Barrabup Forest will head to the WA Parliament on Wednesday, September 13 to hand a petition to the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.

The Barrabup Conservation Group will call on the minister to stop logging in the forest and that it be declared a formal conservation area.

Barrabup forest, under five kilometres from Nannup’s town centre, is a high conservation value jarrah and marri forest enjoyed by locals, bush walkers and tourists.

The government’s plans to log the forest are on hold while assessments of its Indigenous heritage and old growth forest are completed after a public nomination was lodged in June.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions were reviewing the old-growth forest status of areas within the Barrabup 03 coupe.

Mr Dawson said an assessment was currently underway and was due to be finalised by the end of the month when the results would be made public.

“Timber harvesting would not commence until the assessment for potential old-growth forest has been completed,” he said.

“If present, these areas will be excluded from operations.”

Mr Dawson said an approval process administered by DBCA sets other management conditions and environmental protections to meet the requirements outlined in the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023.

“Under the FMP, Barrabup forest block remains state forest and portions of the block are available for a number of activities such as recreation, beekeeping and timber harvesting,” he said.

A Barrabup Conservation Group representative said they invited the Forestry and Environment ministers to meet them on the steps of parliament next week to receive their petition.

"Barrabup is a beautiful forest that most visitors first encounter on their way into our tourism town. The majority of it is ancient jarrah and marri trees, of which portions are old growth,” the spokesperson said.

"The forest also has significant Indigenous and early pioneering heritage.

"As shown by shire analyses, tourism and recreation, and preserving the Nannup's natural amenity, are the keys to stabilizing and growing Nannup's economy.

"Barrabup is home to rare and threatened flora/fauna and is the largest and oldest state forest left this close to Nannup, with large portions of it still free of dieback.

"We have a responsibility to protect such a rare and valuable forest for our town and future generations."

The rally will take place at WA parliament from 11.30am, if you would like to find out more information please email barrabupconservationgroupwa@gmail.com.

This story Petition bound for parliament first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.