Logging at Lorne State Forest on the east coast of NSW.
Logging at Lorne State Forest on the east coast of NSW. Contributed

Conservationists say it's the 'modern equivalent of whaling'

THE NORTH Coast Environment Council has accused the NSW Government of trying to 'keep the public in the dark' and 'attract as little attention as possible' for its proposed changes to logging laws.

The proposed changes could see oldgrowth forests open to logging in a bid to sustain the timber industry.

The NCEC, North East Forest Alliance and local conservation groups are holding public meetings across northern NSW to discuss what is proposed.

"Conservationists were explicitly barred from being able to provide information or comment to the Natural Resources Commission during the drafting phase. And now, unlike the fanfare about the koala strategy a few weeks ago, there is minimum publicity being sought by Government Ministers about the weakening of the logging rules,” NCEC Vice-President Susie Russell said.

"We need now to be protecting our future by maximising the shade, natural water and carbon storage, while connecting habitats to enable animals to move to more suitable areas.

"As well, our earlier predictions that areas of forest that have been off-limits to logging for the last 20 years will now be logged was correct. Areas of oldgrowth, stream protection buffers, high quality koala habitat are to be sacrificed to meet wood contracts.

"When it comes to forestry in NSW and across Australia, we are going backwards. We are seeing more intensive logging for lesser value products. This is the modern equivalent of whaling,” Ms Russell said.

A public meeting will be held in Bellingen on June 3, and in Coffs Harbour on June, 14.



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