Timber NSW using grossly inflated job and economic impacts to deny Koalas needed protection
MEDIA RELEASE - 21 March 2019
The North East Forest Alliance maintains that Timber NSW's claims of job losses due to the creation of the Great Koala National Park are inflated more than 6 fold and are insignificant compared to the 7,400 jobs they have shed in the past decade.
Koala populations have declined by more than 50% in the past 20 years and all the evidence supports that the proposed Great Koala National Park contains the largest population of Koalas left in NSW, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"For the survival of Koalas it is essential that this park be created and rehabilitated to restore degraded Koala habitat.
"It is outrageous that Timber NSW is using grossly inflated employment and economic impacts as part of their scare campaign to stop Koalas getting the protection they urgently need.
"The Department of Primary Industry's own employment data indicate that the logging of the Great Koala National Park only supports some 300 direct and indirect jobs, far less than Timber NSW's claims of almost 2,000 jobs.
"The DPI (2018)1 'North Coast NSW Private Native Forest Primary Processors Survey Report' identified that the native timber primary processing sector on the NSW north coast (from Gosford to the Queensland border) employs some 1,284 people, with 288 of these jobs due to private property resources.
"As proposed by the NPA the Great Koala National Park encompasses 175,000 ha (19%) of north-east NSW's 921,200 ha of State forests, on a pro-rata basis this suggests that it accounts for some 190 of the native timber primary processing jobs.
"The use of multipliers is a contentious issue, though the DPI (2018) adopted an employment multiplier of 1.617 to account for production and consumption flow-on into the regional economy, meaning that 190 direct jobs would result in a total of 307 jobs in the regional economy.
"It is not known how Timber NSW derived an estimate that the Great Koala National Park would result in the loss of almost 2000 jobs, though by any measure this is a greatly inflated estimate and represents more jobs than would be lost if the whole of the north coast's public native forests were protected.
"Employment in the forestry sector is on a downward trajectory with ABARES (2018)2 identifying that 7,396 jobs have been lost in NSW in the past 10 years alone due to consolidation of processing into larger facilities with higher labour efficiencies, and restructuring of the sector.
"Timber NSW is not claiming dire consequences from their own far more significant job shedding.
"Any short term job losses will be rapidly replaced by alternative jobs generated in park management, environmental repair, increased tourism, and population growth which will in the medium term far surpass any job losses due to the Great Koala National Park", Mr. Pugh said.
- DPI (2018) 'North Coast NSW Private Native Forest Primary Processors Survey Report', (https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/795433/Primary-Processors-Survey-Report_01Jan2018.pdf), See Tables 10 and 11 on p28 for direct employment. See section '5.2.2. Flow-on and regional employment impacts' (pp 49-50) for multipliers.
- ABARES (2018) Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018. (http://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/forestsaustralia/Documents/SOFR_2018/Web%20accessible%20PDFs/SOFR_2018_web3.pdf). See 'Figure 6.39: Total employment in the forest sector, by jurisdiction, 2006 to 2016' on p432, and associated spreadsheet, for NSW employment trends.
See NEFA report "Is Logging Really Benign For Koalas as DPI Forestry Claim?" for a refutation of DPI-Forestry's study being relied upon by Timber NSW to justify no need for Koala protection.