The Time Has Come to End Native Forest Logging on Public Land
More than 22 forest advocacy groups and community organisations came together from around the state over the weekend in Bellingen to make a plan for the end of native forest logging on public land in NSW. The groups are backed by the evidence of the economic and social potential of a new chapter for regional communities that are being short changed by the ongoing destruction of our public native forests.
The Greens NSW fully support this community call for a transition out of public native forest logging and will be pursuing the Coalition Government and the NSW Opposition to take up this issue in the lead up to the March 2023 state election. The economic, environmental and social risks of continuing to log public native forests are clear and if there is not a transition plan with a jobs for jobs guarantee put in place then we will be accelerating both the extinction and climate crises.
Greens NSW MP and spokesperson for the environment and employment Sue Higginson said “This is a once in a generation opportunity to fairly transition NSW forestry operations out of public native forest logging and it’s time for Labor and the Coalition to take up this call for a fair transition plan.
“Native forestry in NSW is directly costing NSW residents $441 per hectare of forest that is destroyed. The hardwood that is harvested from public native forests is a huge waste of the resource considering that most of it goes to low quality uses such as pulp for toilet paper and wood chips for burning offshore.
“Native forest logging in NSW has come to an end. The supply of high quality sawlogs is about to fall off a cliff and the Government’s own independent advisory body has made clear to the Government how much trouble the industry is in. This is a common sense call for a transition plan, which is overdue.
“This call from these community advocacy groups comes as an epetition to the NSW Parliament asking for an end to native forest logging has passed 20,000 signatures meaning that it will soon be debated in the Legislative Assembly. I urge the Government and Opposition to take this issue seriously and to back the calls from the community and the industry to start the transition immediately.
“We have seen Victoria and Western Australia begin the transition away from public native forest logging and it’s time for NSW to get on board with the national trend of realising that native forests are worth more standing than they are being turned into woodchip and pulp for export.
The fact that we are still allowing the industrial scale logging of our precious public native forests and we are paying to do it is alarming. We are talking about a very small but incredibly important part of NSW that we must now protect and manage for nature and as part of our front line defence against the impacts of climate change.”