Jarrahdale is a beautiful spot about 50km south of Perth, in the Darling Range. Jarrahdale was established as a timber milling town and remained so for more than 100 years. 14 years ago, when the final timber mill closed and the nearby bauxite mining ceased, the town’s economic future looked dire.
However Jarrahdale residents have worked extremely hard to develop a thriving tourism industry to address the limited employment opportunities available in the community.
Now, the forests that Jarrahdale relies upon are under threat, most immediately from the Forest Products Commissions plan to log Mundlimup Coupe 03, but also from the Wungong catchment thinning trial. If it's found effective, it will substantially alter and reduce the forest cover across that area. In addition, Alcoa’s plans to resume open-cut bauxite mining will entirely remove the forest in their area of interest.
Mundlimup Coupe 03 is within 1km of the Jarrahdale townsite and was last logged 70 years ago. It contains regrowth forest interspersed with old growth trees (mostly giant marri and some big old jarrah considered unsuitable for sawmilling). The forest provides a spectacular home to endangered species such as the Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, its value is far greater than the timber it can produce.
The implications of allowing logging in the Mundlimup Coupe 03 are grim. Parts of the bush are already infested with Phytophthora dieback and the community is very concerned that this devastating disease will be spread by logging. The sanctions that apply to contractors for breaching dieback hygiene requirements are seen to be weak and an insufficient deterrent. Dieback will kill many forest plants and seriously reduce the area’s biodiversity.
Even the relatively benign-sounding ‘selective logging’ entails the use of a machine that will leave a wide swath of destruction to and from any particular tree. Jarrahdale residents have estimated that 1500 square metres of forest will be cleared to harvest as few as 5 jarrah trees.
Mundlimup Coupe should not be logged. This forest is vital to the economic future of the town. It is also an important recreational area for people from the wider Perth community. The areas used by Jarrahdale tourists and businesses that require unspoiled forest for successful operation need to be protected. They should not be destroyed along with the forest for the sake of allowing the FPC to continue with contracts that bring in negligible revenue to the state.
The Minister for Forestry needs to commit to the future of the Jarrahdale community and put the Mundlimup Coupe off-limits to logging.
Save Our Jarrah website