Conservationists in NSW have been appalled at the NSW Government's new plans for logging state forests. The lack of proper and meaningful consultation has further angered those concerned about the decimation these new plans will bring to public forests - forests which belong to the people of the state - not to the logging industry.
North Coast Environment Council
The North Coast Environment Council has accused the NSW Government of trying to
keep the public in the dark and attract as little attention as possible for its proposals for
public forests to increase logging intensity, zone 140,000 hectares for clearfelling, remove
the need to look for and protect most threatened species before logging, reduce stream
buffers and open oldgrowth forest up for logging.
“The Government is trying to hide their intent by holding NO public consultations. So
the NCEC, North East Forest Alliance and local conservation groups are collaborating in
organising public meetings across the region to explain what is proposed to interested
“The first meeting will be on Wednesday May 30, in Port Macquarie at 6.30pm at the
CWA Rooms at 11 Horton St.,” said Susie Russell, NCEC Vice-President.
“In the weeks that follow, there will be meetings in Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Lismore,
Kyogle, Byron Bay, Murwillumbah and Nimbin.
“While the Government has documents open for comment, we know the destructive
outcomes are already pre-determined. Conservationists were explicitly barred from being
able to provide information or comment to the Natural Resources Commission during the
drafting phase. And now, unlike the fanfare about the koala strategy a few weeks ago,
there is minimum publicity being sought by Government Ministers about the weakening
of the logging rules.
“If the proposed rules are implemented, every population centre on the north coast will
see its water yields drop as intensive land clearfell logging dries out the catchments.
There will be increased erosion and sedimentation of streams from decreased stream
buffers. The extinction cliff for many of our native animals and plants will be reached
faster as there will no longer be a requirement to look for them prior to logging. The
carbon storage capacity of our forest estate will be greatly diminished as logging intensity
increases and the dense, young regrowth is more flammable than the mature forests it
“All this at a time when climate change is accelerating and the planet's temperature is
rising. We need now to be protecting our future by maximising the shade, natural water
and carbon storage, while connecting habitats to enable animals to move to more suitable
areas,” she said.
“As well, our earlier predictions that areas of forest that have been off-limits to logging
for the last 20 years will now be logged was correct. Areas of oldgrowth, stream
protection buffers, high quality koala habitat are to be sacrificed to meet wood contracts.
The logging industry is now engaged in a last gasp hunt for the few remaining bigger trees.
Most of the smaller logs it has to clear to get to them, are the new export woodchipping
industry. But this time they are for fuel in wood-fired power stations, rather than pulp for
“When it comes to forestry in NSW and across Australia, we are going backwards. We
are seeing more intensive logging for lesser value products. This is the modern equivalent
of whaling. Only a social movement will stop them. Government is well and truly in their
pocket,” Ms Russell said.