NSW Greens MP, Dawn Walker has labelled the decision by the State and Commonwealth Governments to sign off on new Regional Forest Agreements a disaster for native forests, wildlife and the climate.
“The NSW and Commonwealth Government’s decision to sign off on new Regional Forest Agreements represents another 20 years of forest destruction that will see millions hectares of public native forests logged across NSW” said Dawn Walker MP.
“We are facing a biodiversity crisis, but rather than listen to the thousands of people who made submissions calling for our precious forests to be protected and our timber needs to come from plantations, the Government has continued down the path of forest destruction and extinction.
“The Regional Forest Agreements were intended to end the ‘forest wars’ between communities, Governments and loggers when they were signed approximately 20 years ago, but they have been a manifest failure and resulted in intensified logging, an alarming crash in koala populations by 50% in parts of NSW and continued breaches of forestry regulations, often with zero consequence for loggers.
“The LNP Government has rushed these new Regional Forest Agreements through without listening to the advice of experts or the voices of regional communities who want their forests protected in new National Parks, like the Great Koala National Park near Coffs Harbour that would be a boom for regional tourism.
“With a state election around the corner, it’s time NSW Labor joined the Greens in a commitment to end native forest logging and unwind these disastrous Regional Forest Agreements.
“It is time to move away from this out-dated model of forest management and recognise forests as more than a timber resource to log” said Dawn Walker, NSW Greens MP.