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As State election nears forest protestors halt logging operations again - raising the stakes to end public native forest logging in NSW

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
6 March 2023

6 February 2023 - 

Concerned members of the community up and down the North Coast of NSW have taken to the forest front lines and stopped logging and timber operations in 2 locations this morning. Logging and timber operations at Doubleduke State Forest, South of Lismore and Pencharts Herons Creek Timber Mill near Port Macquarie have been stopped by peaceful protestors. This follows protests in recent weeks that saw logging and timber operations at Bulga State Forest, Yarratt State Forest and Pencharts Herons Creek Timber Mill near Taree all stopped. In Doubleduke State Forest a Lismore local, an engineer, is in a tree sit 25m above industrial logging machinery rendering it inoperable. 

Greens MP and spokesperson for the Environment Sue Higginson this morning joined her local community at Doubleduke State Forest in support of their peaceful,  direct action which has stopped the logging of the forest. She said “enough is enough, we must stop destroying these sensitive forest environments now. The community and political pressure is mounting, the Government needs to hear the call of these wonderful members of the community who put their lives on hold to protect these forests and our futures. 

“Doubleduke State Forest was significantly affected by the Black Summer 2019-2020 fires and has not had time to recover. Like all of our public native forests, it is a biodiversity stronghold. This forest needs to be protected to be given a chance to recover and regenerate, not destroyed by industrial logging. I can’t believe I am standing in a public native forest that survived the deadly Black Summer fires and now the Government is literally destroying it. 

“Doubleduke State Forest is home to our most iconic, precious and rare native animals that are now on the brink of extinction like coastal emus, koalas, greater gliders, yellow-bellied gliders, powerful owls, barking owls, brush-tailed phascogales and spotted-tailed quolls. These animals need a healthy forest environment to survive into the future. 

“What many people do not yet realise is we also need healthy forest environments to survive. As the climate crisis worsens we must escalate our efforts to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. If we end logging our public native forests it will massively reduce our emissions and will draw down and store carbon emissions. If we are going to have any chance of lessening the most dangerous impacts of climate change we must take this climate  action now. We know that mature forests store more carbon than younger regrowing forests. Protecting our public native forests is key to our safer climate future. 

“The Government knows logging of our public native forests is coming to an end, like in Western Australia and Victoria. By not acting now the Government is ignoring the science and communities, fueling the climate and extinction crises and running those left in the native forest hardwood industry over the cliff. The future of the timber industry is in sustainably managed plantations, all of our high end use timber, such as for construction, comes from plantations,

“The absurdity is that destroying our public native forests is costing taxpayers. Logging our public native forests cost NSW taxpayers $28 million dollars over the past 2 years. Yet the softwood plantation division earned $47 million.

“I’m calling on the Government to stop this nonsense and announce their plan to transition out of the unprofitable and harmful logging of native forests and into a 100% sustainable plantation industry model that will benefit communities and the environment,” Ms Higginson said.

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
6 March 2023
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