The North East Forest Alliance, North Coast Environment Council and local groups are hosting a series of public meetings to inform the community about the New South Wales and Commonwealth Government's proposals to change the rules governing logging of public lands to remove protections for most threatened species, open up protected oldgrowth forest for logging, allow intensified logging, establish a clearfelling zone, and reduce buffers on headwater streams.
"Because they have allowed logging to remove more sawlogs that can be sustained, and the spreading logging dieback is rendering forests increasingly unproductive, the State and Commonwealth Governments have cut environmental protections to the bone and are now intending to start logging oldgrowth forests protected for the past 20 years" NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
"They are removing the need to look for Koalas before logging and protect high use areas.
Conservationists meeting over the weekend at Bellingen agreed to support calls by Australian Solar Timbers boss Douglas Head, for an inquiry into Wood Supply Agreements for public lands in North East NSW.
The North East Forest Alliance and the North Coast Environment Council have serious concerns that the people of NSW have been misled on the wood contract issue.
"When the then Minister Katrina Hodgkinson announced the decision by the NSW Government in 2014 to buyback 50,000 cubic metres of sawlogs a year from Boral Timber for $8.55 million she said 'we have focused on reducing demand rather than trying to increase supply'", NCEC Vice-President Susie Russell said.
"Nowhere in the media announcements was the information that while the contracts had been reduced between 2015 to 2023, they had also been extended for a further 5 years, to 2028.
It took a freedom of information request, by the North Coast Environment Council, but the Environment Protection Authority have finally released the membership of the Threatened Species Expert Panel advising on the re-writing of the logging rules for public forests.
The documents show that far from being independent experts they are Government employees, dominated by current and former employees of Forestry Corp.Read more
Attempts by Ballina Council to protect koala habitat and other high conservation value vegetation have been blocked by the NSW Government.
The North Coast Environment Council and North East Forest Alliance support Ballina Shire Council’s attempts to provide needed regulation of logging on private land.Read more
“The failure of today's deal by the Liberal-National Coalition and the ALP on a Renewable Energy Target to exclude native forests from being fed into power stations is a major blow for both the genuine renewable energy industry and the future health of our region's forests” said NCEC spokesperson Susie Russell.Read more