New Greens MP, Dawn Walker met with local forest campaigners in Bellingen to call for an end to logging in native forests and to lend support to their campaign to protect the Kalang headwaters.
“Our native forests are vital to the survival of many endangered species of plants and animals and our forests play a vital role in reducing the effects of climate change, such as the record heatwaves that hit the Mid North Coast this summer” said Dawn Walker.
“Not only is native forest logging unsustainable, it is unprofitable. For most of the past decade NSW Forestry Corporation's native logging division has operated at a loss, while the plantation division has continued to operate profitably.
“Figures obtained by the Greens in 2015 show that NSW taxpayers lost more than $40 million from logging in NSW’s native forests over the previous 4 years.
“The Greens stand with locals calling on NSW Forestry Corporation not to log in Kalang’s biodiverse headwaters where the land is steep and prone to erosion.
“This area of old growth eucalypts and rainforest is rich in biodiversity. It should be preserved as part of a new Great Koala National Park, not logged for a short term profit.
“It is time to recognise that the greatest values of our public native forests come from preserving them, not logging them. Our National Parks are the second most popular tourist attractions after the NSW’s beaches with immense recreational, cultural and tourism potential.
“Now is the time to end logging in our public native forests and completely move the forestry industry into a sustainably-managed, plantation sector” said Dawn Walker.