NEFA is calling upon the NSW Government to follow the leads of Western Australia and Victoria by immediately adopting a plan to phase out logging of public native forests because of their vital roles in taking up and storing carbon and providing homes for so many of our threatened species.
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan today announced that logging of public native forests will be phased out by 2024, stating "Protecting this vital asset is critical in the fight against climate change."
This visionary decision is in stark contrast to the announcement by NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean on Tuesday that he will increase protection for 4% of existing national parks, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
“This is the best that Matt Kean can offer at a time when logging of north-east NSW’s public forests is set to be ramped up to extract millions of tonnes of woodchips to replace coal in electricity generation, and while existing protections for threatened species, including Koalas, are weakened on State Forests and private lands.
We are in the midst of climate and species-extinction crises that need to be urgently addressed, said NEFA spokesperson Susie Russell.
“The simplest and most effective action we can take to buy us time to reduce emissions and replant forests, is to stop logging those we have left so they can regain their lost carbon and habitat values.
”Most Wood Supply Agreements expire in 2023, so this would be an appropriate time to end logging of public native forests in NSW” Ms Russell said.
The Victorian Government has already announced that they will phase out logging of public native forests by 2030.
The Queensland Government is still debating whether to honour the 1999 South-East Queensland Forests Agreement (SEQFA) commitment to phase out logging of public native forests by 2024.
The West Australian Government has committed $50 million for a Just Transition Plan to support affected workers, businesses and local economies, and $350 million boost to planting of softwoods as an alternative resource.
“We need to follow West Australia’s lead and provide support to affected workers, businesses and local economies as part of the necessary transition to a cleaner and greener future.
“If we want to improve the lives of our grandkids we must act urgently to stop all logging of public native forests” Mr Pugh said.