KOALA CONCERN: Greens MP Justin Field said conservation groups told him the NSW Government failed to consult with the community about its planned Regional Forest Agreements.
KOALA CONCERN: Greens MP Justin Field said conservation groups told him the NSW Government failed to consult with the community about its planned Regional Forest Agreements. Ben Beaden

Regional Forest Agreements debate sparks Field trip

NSW Greens MP Justin Field will be making a field trip to the Coffs Coast for a 'forest to sea' listening tour.

The South Coast MP will be joining community groups which have called on the NSW Government's planned extension of Regional Forest Agreements a crisis for native forests and koala.

"Conservation groups tell me the NSW Government has failed to consult with the community who are calling for RFAs to be scrapped following the increased logging and environmental destruction under local RFAs over 20 years,” Mr Field said.

"Community members say koala populations have crashed by up to 50 per cent over the past 20 years of this current RFA. This is a devastating blow for this iconic and increasingly threatened species. There has been no comprehensive research into how other wildlife and ecosystems have been impacted.

"Despite these serious concerns, the new 20-year RFA plan will automatically roll over every five years with no more than a token desktop review of these and other impacts.”

Greens MLC Justin Field.
Greens MLC Justin Field.

Mr Field will also be discussing the future of the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

He said the NSW Government announced a review of the zones and management rules for the marine park as part of its new Marine Estate Management Policies.

"I'm concerned the NSW Government's review of Solitary Islands Marine Park will be a stalking 'seahorse' for winding back protections for this special place and its wildlife,” he said.

"Polls have shown community support for no-take marine sanctuaries are as high as 90 percent, including among recreational fishers.

"A change of rules could diminish the effectiveness of these crucial sanctuary areas and leave the marine park vulnerable. This would be a disaster for nature, coastal communities, people who responsibly fish and all those tourism operators who rely on a healthy marine park.

"At a time when our oceans, marine life and coast are under threat from climate change, pollution and other human impacts, we should be increasing marine protected areas, not watering down their effectiveness.”



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