Australia’s Native Forests

Immediate protection of Australia’s native forests is one of the most effective ways to tackle the urgent challenges of the climate and biodiversity crises.
Native forest logging in Australia generates around 38 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂) a year.

When left to grow, forests capture up to 30% of our CO2 emissions and store significant amounts of carbon. They play a major and fundamental role in the carbon capture capabilities of our earth’s biosphere, which, if left intact, remove up to 50% of CO2 annually.

 

In 2019-20, 87% of logs harvested in Australia came from plantations.

 

Native forest logging provides far fewer jobs than the plantation sector and does not produce substantial employment opportunities in any mainland Australian state.

 

About 87% of sawn timber used in home construction is derived from plantations.

 

The vast majority of native forest logged in Tasmania, Victoria and southern NSW goes into woodchips and paper pulp.

 

  • WA is ending native forest logging by end of 2023
  • VIC is ending native forest logging by 2030, still leaving many years of logging.
  • NSW and Tasmania have not made the same commitments.

 

There’s now irrefutable evidence that logging native forests make them prone to more severe bushfires. Analysis of the 2019-20 Black Summer fires showed logged forests burn more severely than intact ones.

We Australians call on our leaders to use the Commonwealth’s powers to protect our nation’s native forests and their wildlife.

Care for the future of life on Earth, and our obligation to ensure that Australia's natural beauty, diversity and inspiration is not lost to future generations, drives this urgent call on you to protect Australia's forests. Now.

 

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Join a thriving community of action-takers building change for Australia’s native forests.

Communities for Forests is our national community organising program that wants to put native forest protection on the federal agenda. To date, we have a thriving community of action-takers around the country who are working in their electorates, building people-powered change for Australia’s native forests.

 

We know that if we want to see real, permanent and long-lasting protection for Australia’s remaining native forests, we need a government that prioritises forests and the environment. Through building electorate based-community support and constituent led political engagement with state and federal MP’s, we are committed to seeing native forests protected through positive policy change.

 

No matter where you live in Australia, we have real, practical actions you can take to start building the movement in your community.

 

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The fastest parrot on Earth, critically endangered Swift parrots only breed in Tasmania

Their nesting and foraging habitats are being logged.

 

A migratory bird, their winter-feeding habitat in NSW is also being lost to logging and bushfires.

 

The Swift Parrot migrates every year to Tasmania, where it relies on old, hollow-bearing trees for nesting and nearby flowering eucalyptus for foraging. The birds have a high likelihood of going extinct in the next 20 years if their habitat is not given secure protection.

 

Native forest logging is the greatest threat to the Swift Parrot.

 

Peer-reviewed research has estimated it could be extinct by 2031 on its current course.

 

Native forest logging operations in Tasmania have removed much of the critically endangered species’ breeding and foraging habitat, with extensive logging in native forests, rainforests and old growth forests over the last 30 years. In NSW, the Swift Parrot winter-feeding forests are also threatened by logging. Each time the parrots make the trip north or south, they have less and less habitat to return to.

 

If logging does not stop in Swift Parrot breeding and foraging habitat, the species will go extinct. This critically endangered species will not survive further destruction of their forest habitat.

 

Since 2015, our Foundation has led the campaign to defend and call for protection of the Swift Parrot’s Tasmanian habitat. Our campaign has featured forest protests, vigils at parliament house, legal cases and citizen science each summer when the parrots are in Tasmania, undertaking monitoring and flora surveys for feed trees in logging coupes.

 

The State and Federal Government need to permanently end the logging of Tasmania’s Swift Parrot forest habitat and provide secure protection for all Swift Parrot habitat.

 

In 2015 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the Swift Parrot as critically endangered due to logging of its habitat and predation by sugar gliders. IUCN recommended that all public lands that support Swift Parrots be placed under secure, permanent conservation management. This has not happened and logging of the Swift Parrot nesting and foraging habitat has continued.

 

Tasmania's southern forests, Bruny Island, the eastern tiers in NE Tasmania and Wielangta on the east coast are vitally important Swift Parrot habitat. These forests must be protected from logging if this wonderful bird, the fastest parrot on the planet, is to survive.

 

Swift parrot habitat is being lost to logging in Tasmania’s Eastern tiers, in the hills behind Tasmania’s most popular destination Freycinet National Park. Swift Parrots travel to different areas depending on the flowering good source of specific gums. This destination changes every year. Their habitat and area they breed in and feed from changes every year. And every year their habitat in the areas they return to is depleted by industrial wood chipping of native forests. More than 90% of what is harvested from native forests in lutruwita / Tasmania is chipped.

 

Swift parrots suffer from ongoing feigned and inept “protection” by Forestry Tasmania and THE Forest Practices Authority and the ongoing refusal by Tasmania’s government to provide secure protection of all Swift parrot habitat.

 

Experts maintain that all currently available Swift Parrot habitat should be retained and forest that has the potential to become habitat allowed to grow. For the Swift parrot to survive and flourish, landscape level protection of all Swift parrot habitat must be secured on public and private land.

 

In the parrots breeding seasons of 2020 – 2022, in a most calamitous state of the times, our NGO and volunteers with our citizen science program uncovered Swift parrot habitat being actively logged. It should never be left to citizens and non-governmental organisations to find the birds and habitat of a critically endangered species on an active logging plan.

 

Forestry Tasmania needs to have all Swift parrot habitat removed from its “management”. ALL Swift parrot habitat needs to be removed out of logging zones and away from logging threats.

 

The immediate cessation of logging of native forests in Tasmania, including all Swift parrot habitat, is needed for the protection of rare and endangered wildlife.

 

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Overall, about 80% of koala habitat has been cleared since white settlement. almost none is protected.

Endangered - Logging and landclearing are the main reasons why the koala is disappearing. Overall, about 80% of koala habitat has been cleared since white settlement, almost none is protected.

 

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Native forests are being logging and incinerated every year in Tasmania, to the detriment of species survival and accelerating global warming.

Tasmania’s forests are of global significance. Independent assessments have found that Tasmania’s tall eucalypt forests and takayna / Tarkine are of outstanding universal value. They are home to many threatened species such as the Masked owl, Tasmanian devil, Swift parrot and the Giant Freshwater Crayfish. Tasmania is also home to the most carbon dense forests in the world.

 

There is over a million hectares of land under threat from logging in Tasmania. Hundreds of hectares of important breeding areas of the critically endangered swift parrot have recently been destroyed. Old-growth forests are still being logged in Tasmania, with giant trees of over 5 meters in diameter being felled. Logging old-growth forests and threatened species habitat are two of the reasons that Sustainable Timber Tasmania have failed Forest Stewardship Council certification twice.

 

In Tasmania’s forests we still witness clearfelling of forests on steep slopes by cable loggers in areas so iconic such as the Styx valley. Where the Tasmanian government closes public tourist roads to log the forests.

 

Tracts of tall old giant sentinels are still being logged in the highlands at places like Wentworth hills, where spagnum moss ecosystems and King Billy pine pockets in gullies and on ridge lines rely on the moisture held by these forests at their foothills. Rampant logging occurs here with 24 hour log trucks carting ancient trees many hours away to the woodchip mill and exported to China.

 

At the edge of the World Heritage Area, yet under imminent threat, these old and lush Eucalyptus forests host a vulnerable island of biodiverse ecosystems. Among flowering Blue Gums and Waratahs. Under the canopy of some of the tallest trees in the Southern Hemisphere. Under patches of rainforest. The swift parrots, like many other species, are dependent on the maturity of these forests: they rely on the senescence of these old Eucalyptus to give birth. These requirements can't be artificially or technologically reproduced: if we pursue the logging of these forests... if we are ignoring these facts... we will very soon be sitting in the dock, guilty of the (forever) swift parrot extinction.

 

Native forest logging in Tasmania is hugely unprofitable and a drain on the economy, with Sustainable Timber Tasmania (formerly Forestry Tasmania) losing a staggering $454 million dollars over 20 years. The industry has been kept afloat by numerous state and federal subsidies, receiving close to $1 billion dollars over the last few decades. This money could be better spent on ways that would protect the environment, economy and benefit our communities.

 

Our Foundation takes frontline action against the logging and clearfelling of Tasmania’s Native Forests across the state, including in takayna / Tarkine, Wentworth Hills and the Eastern Tiers.

The post-logging burns happening right now in Tasmania's wild forests are carried out behind locked gates by the government logging agency Forestry Tasmania.

Every autumn, wildlife-rich native forests are hacked to the ground at a cost to the taxpayer of tens of millions of dollars. The forest remnants are then scraped into waste debris piles and burnt by incendiaries dropped from helicopters.

These post-logging infernos fill Tasmania's air with toxic fumes as millions of tons of carbon are released into our struggling atmosphere.

Incinerating old forests and growing young monocultures in short cycles has a hugely detrimental effect on climate, biodiversity, native species and river health and increases the incidence of bushfires from escaped burns.

We must stop this decimation of our forests, the carbon they store and their unique wildlife.

Tell our government to Stop Incinerating Native Forests. Instead, native forests should be protected for their climate, wildlife, economic and water values.

See the forests that Forestry Tasmania wants to burn next here.

Concerned about a coupe in your area? Shoot us an email

If you have any information or would like to get involved, contact Courtney, drop into our nipaluna / Hobart Campaign Centre or phone 03 6494 0620.

Burning natural forests in furnaces is fake renewable energy and damages climate and nature

Instead of being a sustainable source of power, Biomass spells forest destruction, increasing the demand for timber ‘waste’ products and replacing woodchips as the financial justification to prop up the economically failing logging industry.

 

As support for biomass increases globally, there is an increasing risk that Australia’s native forests could be used as biomass energy – it is already occurring in some of NSW’s Native Forests. Turning native forests into liquid biofuels, biomass power and wood pellets poses a serious threat to Australia’s wildlife and will unlock carbon which has been stored in our forests for decades.

 

Biomass burning is not carbon neutral and emits more carbon per unit of energy than coal20. It takes many decades to centuries for forests to regrow and recapture carbon. We need to move away from burning fossil fuels entirely – not just swap coal-burning power stations for native forest furnaces.

 

While biomass from native forests is often described as ‘waste’, leftover from other logging products such as sawmill timber or veneer, we know that this is not the case. By far, 30 – 70% of logged forests end up as ‘waste’, and biomass is providing an economic incentive for this product. Vast areas of Australia’s native forests could be destroyed by industrial scale biomass burning.

 

Biomass energy is a bad idea for our forests and the climate. We need to be urgently moving away from energy sources which release carbon into the atmosphere and transition to renewable technologies. We also need to protect Australia’s native forests as they are important for carbon sequestration and storage and are a meaningful way to mitigate climate change.

 

We cannot let our remaining native forests be logged under the guise of ‘renewable’ energy.

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