Stopping logging saves money

MEDIA RELEASE 27 April 2023

The North East Forest Alliance is renewing calls to end the logging of public native forests in light of a report detailing that NSW taxpayers will reap a $45 million benefit from stopping logging of North East NSW’s public forests immediately.

With logging causing populations of many forest dependent species to rapidly decline, spreading weeds, causing widespread dieback, reducing stream flows, and increasing fire risk, there is a need for immediate action, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

“As climate heating gathers momentum, the increasing temperatures, droughts, heatwaves and wildfires are compounding impacts.

“We urgently need to help our forests recover from past abuses, to allow them to sequester atmospheric carbon out of harms way, regrow big trees for nectar and hollows, and regain their natural resilience.

“And we can make money at the same time” Mr. Pugh said.

The independent public policy think tank Blueprint Institute has released a report  ‘Branching Out: Exploring Alternate Land Use Options for the Native Forests of New South Wales’ which assesses the economic potential of native forest conservation by modelling the value of carbon sequestration and tourism against continued logging, demonstrating “conclusively that there is no economic case for continued logging of native forests on the North Coast of New South Wales”.

They found that managing the North Coast region in a manner consistent with conservation would over the period from now to 2040:

  • abate an average of 0.45 million tonnes of carbon annually, which equates to a net present value of $174 million
  • increase tourism to the region, providing a net present value of $120 million.

After allowing for an Industry adjustment package of $215 million and generous assumptions of potential yields, the Blueprint Institute identified a net benefit value of $45 million in present-day dollars by stopping logging immediately.

“NEFA considers their figures on carbon sequestration grossly understates the annual carbon sequestration potential of recovering forests, and thus the benefits of ceasing logging.

“Neither does the report account for the immense environmental benefits.

“While the benefits are understated, there can be no doubt that as recommended in the report we need to stop NSW taxpayers subsidising the logging of public native forests and legislate to immediately end their logging” Mr. Pugh said.

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