Greens MP, Dawn Walker joined Bega Valley Greens members and campaigners from the South East Region Conservation Alliance to inspect native forestry operations around Tantawanglo and Glenbog State Forests last week and to support calls to end native forest logging in NSW.
“Our native forests are vital to the survival of many endangered species of plants and animals and play a vital role in reducing the effects of climate change” said Dawn Walker.
“Not only is native forest logging unsustainable, it is unprofitable to NSW taxpayers. 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 who are concerned with Forestry Corporation and their contractors’ repeated and well-documented breaches of regulations that were intended to protect the biodiversity of Tantawanglo and Glenbog State Forests.
“These regulations were supposed to protect watercourses and rocky outcrops, but I was shocked to see clear breaches with particular regard to buffer zones.
“With the Regional Forest Agreement for the Eden Region due to expire in 2019, this area should be part of a new Great Southern Forest to maximise potential for regional employment and visitor opportunities, not logged for toilet paper.
“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.