NSW Parliament votes on petition to end public native forest logging
The NSW Legislative Assembly will today debate on whether to take note of a petition to end public native forest logging. The petition, launched by NSW Young Greens Indigenous Officer Takesa Frank and the Nature Conservation Council, received more than 21 000 signatures which has forced the Parliament to a debate.
Greens spokesperson for the environment and agriculture Sue Higginson MLC said:
“Tens of thousands of people from across the state have come together to call for an end to public native forest logging. The time has come and the case has been made that our public forests are worth more to us standing. The government has made no plans to transition out of this destructive industry and into sustainable plantations in the full knowledge that communities and workers will be left behind by their policies.
“So much of our public native forest estate has been impacted by drought, fires and floods. We need to change our perception of native forests to recognise them as a vitally important line of defence against both the climate and the extinction crisis, but this senseless government is determined to destroy them.
“The response to the petition from the Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders was bitterly disappointing. Tens of thousands of people are calling for our forests to be protected and the minister has completely dismissed what’s best for communities and the environment.
“The Government claims that sustainable native forest management includes cutting down critical habitat for threatened species, including koala habitat, clear felling areas of our forests and cutting down hollow bearing trees which are essential for the survival of forest dependent threatened species like gliders, owls and bats.
“Bizarrely, the Government claims that cutting down our forests is good for the climate crisis in complete contradiction to scientific consensus. Old trees sequester more carbon than young trees, which on its own should be enough for us to be doing everything we can to protect them.
“The end of public native forest logging is inevitable and we are so close to finally seeing the transition out of this industrial scale destruction. Parliament could do this today if the government would stop blocking this important reform and develop a plan that delivers economic security for communities and protects our precious forests.” Ms Higginson said.