Native forest logging across NSW is both environmentally and economically destructive. Labor has committed to an $80 million investment to create the Great Koala National Park on the NSW Mid-North Coast but Forestry Corporation continues to log this area while studies and consultations are underway.
Native forest logging in NSW emits around 3.6 million tonnes of carbon annually. This is equivalent to the emissions produced by 840,000 medium-sized cars each year, or 4.5 times the annual emissions of NSW domestic aviation.
Native forest logging is contributing to the extinction crisis we face in NSW. So many of our forest dependent animals are in serious trouble as they slide down the threatened species list towards extinction. Native forest logging is the leading cause of koala habitat destruction. Before the 2019/20 wildfires, koala populations had declined by 50% over 20 years. They are expected to be extinct by 2050, yet the Forestry Corporation is still logging their habitat. Logging also makes forests more vulnerable to wildfires and interrupts the hydrological cycle, reducing water yields.
This industry is not only environmentally destructive, it is also unprofitable. Forestry Corporation operates at a financial loss, with a total loss of $95 million over the past 14 years. Government subsidies mean that NSW residents are paying for the destruction of our forests with no economic gain.
Around 1000 workers are directly associated with the industry in NSW. The impact of removing these jobs is manageable, and regional diversification and a more profitable plantation industry create huge economic potential.
With a new minority government together we can end public native forest logging, starting with a moratorium on the proposed Great Koala National Park.