The Federal Government’s Independent Report into the Operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 has made strong recommendations that signal the end of Native Forestry in NSW.
Recommendation 15 of the report recommends increases to the level of environmental protection afforded in Regional Forest Agreements which would effectively make Native Forest logging in NSW impossible. The current industry relies significantly on being able to log without compliance with a suite of environmental and cultural laws, it’s clear that this will need to end.
Greens MP and Forests Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“This independent report commissioned by a conservative Government confirms what anyone who lives near a native forest in NSW knows, logging damages these forests irreparably.
“The fact is that native forest logging in NSW can only operate because of the exemptions from environmental protection laws.
“These exemptions are not consistent with the ongoing survival of hundreds of threatened species, nor with respect for First Nations heritage and cultural sites.
“It costs hundreds of dollars in taxpayer funds to log native forests, and the cost will skyrocket with additional compliance required.
“2021 is going to have to be the year we end native forest logging - after the fires we simply cannot afford another year of paying for them to be trashed.
“It’s time for the NSW Government to sit down with the industry and make a roadmap out of native forest logging, before the industry just collapses on their watch.
“These forests are so much more valuable standing, and there are jobs in conserving and protecting these forests, opening them up for tourism and broader recreation if a sensible plan is made,” Mr Shoebridge said.