The Greens NSW will ensure public native forests become protected areas and timber will be sustainably farmed. Help us build a nature positive future!
The Greens NSW believe that:
- Native forests are essential ecosystems that must be protected, regenerated, restored and maintained with nature positive outcomes.
- Restored and ecologically functioning native forests will assist in the recovery and survival of native animals and plants and their habitats.
- Healthy and functioning native forests contribute to the wellbeing of people in NSW through their contribution to water and soil quality, catchment protection, landscape resilience and stability, carbon capture, tourism and recreational activities, and cultural and spiritual significance.
- Logging of public native forests should end immediately.
- All mining, gas extraction, pumped hydro and other intensive or damaging industries should be prohibited from the public native forest estate and on lands that have native forests with conservation value.
- Wilderness, Wild Rivers and World Heritage assessments and nominations should be undertaken on forested lands.
- A productive, nature positive and ecologically sustainable farmed timber industry should replace the logging of existing native forests across all tenures.
- An effective regulatory system for all timber products on all land tenures is necessary to ensure our natural heritage is protected.
- Farmed timber practice should improve levels of water infiltration, run-off and erosion, fire risk, soil health, insect life, microorganisms, carbon dioxide sequestration and methane production, and minimise weed invasion.
- Localised alternative fibre sources with minimal environmental impacts and their associated industries must be fostered and promoted to reduce the need for wood-chipping and wood-pulping.
- First Nations people and communities must have a vital and active role in the management of public native forests and public farmed forest plantations.
- All decision-making on forest management must deliver intergenerational equity.
- Burning native forests to produce electricity is carbon-intensive, non-renewable energy, and should be prohibited.
The Greens NSW will work towards:
Protecting Native Forests and Natural Ecosystems
- Immediately ending public native forest logging in NSW and ceasing wood supply agreements that pertain to those forests.
- Transferring all native forests currently managed by NSW Forestry Corporation to National Parks or other protected areas.
- Increasing the area of native forests in National Parks and other protected areas in NSW.
- Creating an identification and classification system for existing native forests to clearly separate them from dedicated farmed timber plantations.
- Creating a new tenure for degraded public native forests that must be regenerated, restored and maintained with nature positive outcomes.
- Implementing major reforestation schemes to establish wildlife corridors that link forests and woodlands to allow movement of fauna.
- Prohibiting logging or clearing of all hollow-bearing trees across all tenures, and retaining an adequate number of recruitment trees across all size classes.
- Integrating forest management and restoration into river and catchment management.
- Prohibiting all harmful and industrial activities which impact public native forests of conservation-value. These industries include, but are not restricted to mining, gas extraction, quarries, biomass burning for electricity generation, firewood and pumped hydro.
- Educating the community about the values of forests and forest biodiversity.
- Funding councils to protect their forest assets and resources through zoning and development control.
- Implementing effective enforcement of vegetation clearance controls on public and private lands.
- Strengthening protection for threatened species on private land.
- Providing assistance to private landholders to protect threatened species habitat, wilderness, rainforest, town water catchments and high conservation value forests.
A Sustainable Farmed Timber Industry
- Developing a farmed timber industry that is environmentally sustainable, publicly-supported, well regulated and jobs rich.
- Maintaining public ownership and management of existing public forestry entities to ensure forestry operations are sustainable and to implement a just transition from native forest logging.
- Ensuring that a publicly accountable agency is adequately resourced and empowered to regulate farmed timber management practices according to strict sustainability criteria.
- Legislating a transparent, high quality and publicly-run forest certification system.
- Assessing all existing plantation areas to determine whether they are genuine and dedicated farmed timber plantations or if they are public native forests.
- Ensuring best practice management of public and private farmed timber plantations.
- Purchasing appropriate lands for mixed species woodlots and hardwood timber plantations.
- Ensuring that only environmentally sensitive and sustainable logging practices are used by banning clear-felling, forest burning, broad-scale chemical weeding, high impact logging machinery and other destructive practices.
- Investing in and expanding the publicly-owned farmed timber industry utilising a variety of native species for hard and softwood plantations that can meet the domestic needs of Australian construction and paper industries.
- Investing in publicly-owned and co-operative enterprises that localise the processing of sustainable timber production.
- Revising, regulating and monitoring all farmed timber operating procedures for logging across public and private land.
- Requiring all dedicated plantations be managed to ensure resource protection through improved soil and water quality and reduce risk from fire and flood.
- Ensuring that the farmed timber estate is managed to improve the quality of the natural environment.
- Mandating strong standards of Environmental Impact Assessment for all forestry operations, as well as ensuring that pre-logging requirements include independent wildlife assessments and rehoming activities.
- Requiring all harvest plans minimise the cumulative environmental impacts of logging operations.
- Ensuring there is no logging in water catchment headwaters that could cause environmental damage, erosion and silting of rivers.
- Ensuring strong environmental controls and new management requirements for older plantations in environmentally sensitive areas such as river headways.
- Requiring that local factors such as buffer zones and high rainfall zones, are considered when harvesting of farmed timber is being planned.
- Making harvest plans publicly accessible.
- Prohibiting the use of farmed timber for biomass or charcoal production.
- Prohibiting the importation of timber products that are not sustainably and ethically sourced, through instituting a licence scheme between the States and Commonwealth Governments to ensure that unsustainably-sourced wood cannot be transported within Australia.
- Promoting the development of sustainable wood and fibre industries in NSW, such as hemp and other alternatives like banana leaves, bamboo, and agricultural waste fibres.
- Facilitating transition plans for people, industry and communities impacted by the phase out of native forest logging.
- Supporting regional jobs through investments in certified eco-tourism, sustainable farmed timber industry and the localised processing of timber.
- Restoring degraded forests and developing regional employment through the creation of an environmental restoration and repair industry.
First Nations People
- Centring First Nations' perspectives on forest ownership and management and recognising sites of cultural significance to First Nations people on all land tenures.
- Engaging First Nations communities to ensure that cultural knowledge and authority in public forests is strengthened and maintained in collaboration with traditional custodians.
- Empowering First Nations communities to have self-determination in decision-making, and employing more First Nations people in the management of forests.
- Ensuring that any new laws or regulations take into account First Nations' obligations under traditional law, lore and culture, to conserve the environment and maintain ecosystems in their natural state.
- Ensuring that the carbon value in existing forests cannot be traded to offset fossil fuel or other greenhouse gas-intensive industries.
- Requiring that the value of carbon-sequestration in standing forests is recognised in any new forest laws or regulations.
- Maintaining carbon stores in landscapes through avoiding emissions from deforestation to support ambitious emissions reduction targets.
- Increasing the percentage of durable timber and timber-based products that extend the building lifecycle.
- Requiring and assisting private landholders to employ land use practices that preserve biodiversity and forests as carbon stores.
- Ensuring that the farmed timber and timber products industries are managed so that they are carbon negative.
- Developing a strategy to end firewood collection from native and other forests and subsidising low-income households to switch to low-cost, non-polluting heating alternatives.
Last revised October 2023.