Images have emerged which show continued logging operations in NSW native forests by Forestry Corporation contractors despite the widespread destruction of forests from bushfires and drought around the state.
Whether in Bellingen or Bega logging has been continuing despite the other drastic pressures on our forests.
Locals have expressed concern at seeing mature trees hauled on logging trucks while the trees in other local forests are succumbing to a record fire and drought season. A moratorium should be implemented while habitat and biodiversity losses are assessed and the role of the public native forest estate can be evaluated.
Greens MP and Forests Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
"We know that communities around NSW are suffering, and continuing native forest logging operations as business as usual is completely inappropriate.
"Koala habitat has been decimated across the state and we must urgently reviewing what reserve habitat is available in publicly owned native forests to help protect this iconic species.
"There are many other species that have also been displaced by the fires, and our publicly owned native forests should be sanctuaries for them.
"Logging is a known risk factor for fires - with logged forests often much drier, and log dumps providing reserves of fuel that can intensify fires.
"There must be a moratorium on logging native forest while the fire season continues.
"Victoria has stepped up and begun to end damaging loss-making native forest logging in that State and NSW must be next in line," Mr Shoebridge said
Forest Activist Harriet Swift said:
"The impact of the fires and drought on our local forests around Bega has been enormous, and animals and birds have been displaced on an unprecedented scale.
"Seeing beautiful old trees being hauled out of Tantawangalo while there are still six fires burning in the Bega Valley area is extremely distressing.
"We're calling on the Government to stop logging these forests and instead assess what new role they might now play given the massive canopy losses across the region," Ms Swift said.
David Shoebridge 0408 113 952
Harriet Swift 0414 908 997