The NSW Government has made the right choice to back away from its disastrous plan to remap old growth forests in order to open them up for logging, but they must go further and declare a moratorium on native forests logging while post-fire threatened species assessments are still underway, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and spokesperson for the environment.
NRC announcement: Old growth reassessment program suspended
“While this is great news, the report that led to the Government to suspend the remapping program found that over 100,000 hectares of old growth forest was burnt. This is extremely concerning and should be the catalyst for the Government to declare a moratorium on logging in public native forests,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“This assessment by the NRC should confirm to the Government that we’ve lost significant areas of irreplaceable forest including threatened species habitat and it cannot, in good conscience, continue to allow logging in native forests during this early post-fire recovery period.
“There is still extensive work being undertaken to assess the loss to our national parks, forests and wildlife, including threatened species and their habitat, as a result of the devastating bushfires.
“If the Government now accepts the need to preserve Old Growth Forest as a result of this bushfire season then it must also accept the need to pause logging operations while other critical assessments are undertaken.
“Given our public native forests are operating at a loss, I cannot see how any independent assessment could justify their continued logging, particularly for low grade products such as paper when so much wildlife and threatened species habitat were lost in the fires.
“It was clear from the start that logging our old growth forests would have been an environmental catastrophe. It should not have taken the worst bushfires on record for this Government to realise it,” says Ms Faehrmann.
Contact: Jacob Miller - 0428 837 292