Council Supports Kalang Headwaters Conservation

Bellingen Shire Council has voted to support the Headwaters Nature Reserve Proposal, which aims to protect the health of the Kalang and Bellinger Rivers and its iconic forests by preventing industrial logging in the headwaters of the Kalang River and remaining areas of the Bellinger River not yet protected in National Park or Nature Reserve.

Bellingen Shire Council Mayor, Cr Dominic King, said the Headwaters Nature Reserve Proposal had been developed by the Friends of the Kalang Headwaters in collaboration with the Bellingen Environment Centre, Kalang River Forest Alliance, National Parks Association of NSW and a significant number of concerned members of our community.

“There are already more than 3,500 signatures on the petition to the NSW Parliament supporting the Headwaters Nature Reserve proposal, which is a strong indication that there is widespread community support in our Shire, the region and beyond to protect this area from industrial logging.”

Cr King said the Headwaters Nature Reserve Proposal was tabled at last night’s Ordinary Council Meeting by Cr Wright-Turner.

“Cr Wright-Turner spoke in support of the proposal, noting the strong community-driven campaign opposing Forestry Corporation’s plans to log compartments in the Kalang headwaters and the importance of protecting areas significant biodiversity.”

“This region’s unique forests are recognised as one of the thirty-six biodiversity hotspots in the world and with more than 150,000 hectares of forest recently burnt in and around our Shire, we cannot afford to lose any more environmentally significant habitat.”

Cr King said the Headwaters Nature Reserve Proposal also aimed to protect the health of the headwaters of our iconic rivers and our local tourism, fisheries and oyster growing industries.

“We have a responsibility to protect our local industries, and by preserving the health of our rivers, valleys and forests we will ensure that our Shire continues to provide environmental, economic and socially sustainable business and employment opportunities.”