Greens Forests spokesperson, Dawn Walker has warned that the NSW Government’s proposal to overhaul rules governing native logging operations in NSW’s coastal forests threatens to re-ignite ‘Forest Wars’ across the State following the release of the Government’s draft Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval.
“It’s very clear that the Liberal-Nationals agenda is to let the bulldozers roar and chainsaws rip into some of the best forests left in NSW with their plans to intensify logging operations and weaken protections for native species in our State Forests.
“By merging the four existing regionally-based Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals into a single Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals under the guise of efficiency, the Government is relaxing standards and sacrificing our forests.
“Their plan to intensify logging on the NSW North Coast by introducing clear-felling methods to forests between Grafton and Taree would be a bonanza for chainsaws and decimate vital habitat for koalas and greater gliders.
“The Greens are equally worried by the removal of requirements to undertake pre-logging surveys for threatened species, the large reduction in buffer zones around streams from 10m to 5m and the removal of logging exclusion-zones around known threatened species are a brazen attempt to increase the area of forest available to loggers and meet a shortfall in unrealistic Wood Supply Agreements.
“These changes to rules overseeing NSW forestry operations will directly result in the deaths of many of NSW’s most threatened animal species, including parrots, frogs, possums, wombats, quolls and koalas. They will result in more wombats buried alive in their burrows and koalas cut out of their feed trees. They threaten to reignite the ‘forest wars’ of past decades and create unnecessary conflict.
“The people of NSW will not tolerate this level of destruction in their public native forests.
“NSW Forestry Corporation lost $78 million in native forest logging between 2009 and 2014. It’s time to see an end to native forest logging in public lands across NSW and the transition of high-quality State Forests into new National Parks and reserves, including a Great Koala National Park on the mid-north coast to prevent the extinction of this iconic species” said Dawn Walker MP.