Greens MP Dawn Walker has labelled the State Government puppets of the logging industry following the passing of the Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 in the NSW Upper House in the early hours of this morning.
“The State Government’s new logging laws will result in dramatic increases in the scale and intensity of logging in our coastal forests, putting several threatened species, including our already dwindling koalas at direct risk” said Dawn Walker MP.
“It’s appalling that the Liberal-Nationals are happy to let the bulldozers roar and chainsaws rip into more of NSW’s precious forests. They are more interested in satisfying their business mates in the logging industry than protecting wildlife, enhancing our drinking water catchments or preserving our forests for public enjoyment and future generations.
“Under these new laws, even for selective logging, we’ll see only 10 square meters of trees retained per hectare logged. This means that only 0.1% of the total area – only 10 square meters out of 10 thousand - is required to be left with trees on it. This would irrevocably damage our forests, leaving them as desolate moonscapes.
“These new laws are particularly devastating for the North Coast where intensive logging methods will be introduced to 140,000 hectares of coastal forests between Taree and Grafton. These forests are a recognised global biodiversity hotspot and many fall within the proposed Great Koala National Park.
“The transfer of the responsibility for the regulation of private native forestry from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to Local Land Services (LLS) is another worrying outcome of this Bill given the primary focus of this agency is the production of timber and meeting wood supply agreements.
“How the LLS will manage the conflicting task of regulating logging on private land in a manner that upholds environmental safeguards should be of great concern given two-thirds of native forests in NSW are on private land.
“The Greens opposed this Forestry Bill all the way and tried unsuccessfully to move amendments with the aim of putting transparency back into the legislation and most importantly, phase out logging in our public native forests altogether at the expiration of the Regional Forestry Agreements.
“Ultimately, the Shooters Party and Fred Nile teamed up with the Liberal-Nationals to wave these logging laws through.
“It’s also shocking that the Labor Party sided with the Liberal-Nationals to block the Greens’ amendment to phase-out logging in our native forests when the RFAs expire. It’s time Labor demonstrated a serious commitment to ending logging in our public native forests across NSW, which is destroying vital habitat and pushing species like koalas towards extinction.
“These parties must be held to account by the community who won’t tolerate their forests being intensively logged and tossed out at the 2019 State election” said Dawn Walker MP.