Forest Alliance says timber industry logging to excess

Veteran activist and North East Forests Alliance spokesman Dailan Pugh.
Veteran activist and North East Forests Alliance spokesman Dailan Pugh. David Nielsen

CONSERVATION groups are calling on the O'Farrell Government to reject proposals to open up over a million hectares of north-east NSW national parks for logging.

North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh claims the timber industry has been logging well in excess of the identified sustainable yield for the past 14 years.

"In their submission to the Public Land Use Inquiry, the Forests Products Association identified 43 national parks and other conservation reserves in north-east NSW for initial revocation," he said.

"The FPA stated they also want whatever other reserves are necessary to maintain current yields in the long term.

"The national parks proposed for revocation by the FPA include forests identified as qualifying for World Heritage Listing.

"Also areas of core koala habitat and irreplaceable stands of old growth forest, such as those at Chaelundi described by Justice Stein as 'a veritable forest dependent zoo, probably unparalleled in south-eastern Australia'."

North Coast Environment Council president Susie Russell also has concerns.

"The NSW Government is currently undertaking a review of timber yields, which is assessing yields available from some national parks, and a review of environment prescriptions aimed at reducing environmental prescriptions to get more timber," she said.

"While the marine reviews were open to scientific processes, the forest reviews are claimed to be 'Cabinet In Confidence' and are being undertaken secretly by bureaucrats.

"Given the opening up of national parks for shooting and grazing, making them available for logging seems to be next.

"We are asking people to contact north coast State members to ask them to intervene and stop national parks being revoked or logged."

However, the Australian and NSW Forest Products Associations said in a joint statement the Upper House inquiry into the management of public land is an important opportunity to review land use policy and planning.

They believe the hearing raised broader planning issues that adversely impact upon the native forest wood production sector.

These include a political environment that has promoted the reservation of increasingly large tracts of forest land, downsizing of commercially based industries such as forestry, and poor fuel reduction practices arising from the passive management.

"Australian Forest Products Association has consistently advocated a whole-of-landscape approach to forest land management, to reduce the risks of cross-border impacts such as increased wildfires, disease outbreaks and feral animals," the statement said.

"Sustainably managed native forests that include increased opportunities for timber harvesting, can help manage these landscape level risks and produce multiple public safety, economic and environmental benefits."


Reserves Identified For Revocation


Black Bulga State Conservation Area

Bongil Bongil National Park (part)

Bungawalbin State Conservation Area (part)

Butterleaf State Conservation Area

Chaelundi National Park (part)

Chaelundi State Conservation Area (part)

Columbey National Park

Copeland Tops State Conservation Area

Dorrigo National Park (part)

Ghin-Doo-Ee National Park (part)

Gir-um-bit National Park

Gir-um-bit State Conservation Area

Goonengerry National Park

Gumbaynggirr State Conservation Area

Guy Fawkes River National Park (part)

Hunter Estuary National Park

Jilliby State Conservation Area

Karuah National Park

Karuah Nature Reserve (part)

Lake Innes State Conservation Area

Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area (part)

Mebbin National Park (part)

Medowie Nature Reserve

Medowie State Conservation Area (part)

Myall Lakes National Park (part)

Nightcap National Park (part)

Nowendoc National Park (part)

Nymboi-Binderay National Park (part)

Sugarloaf State Conservation Area

Queens Lake Nature Reserve (part)

Queens Lake State Conservation Area

Sherwood Nature Reserve (part)

Sugarloaf State Conservation Area

Tilligerry National Park

Tilligerry Nature Reserve (part)

Tilligerry State Conservation Area

Tomaree National Park (part)

Tuggalo Creek Nature Reserve

Watagans National Park

Werakata State Conservation Area

Whian Whian State Conservation Area

Wollumbin National Park

Wollumbin State Conservation Area.

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