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Ten conservation groups have condemned the NSW Government’s appalling statement endorsing ongoing native forest logging before debate is due in parliament. In a dangerous move for the climate, survival of the endangered koala and glider and risks to human health, clean water supplies and increased bushfires, the government has rejected a petition by 21,000 people.

“In more than two decades of defending NSW’s native forests, I have not seen a government response that is so dreadful. The NSW government commitment to ongoing logging is out-of-date, dangerous drivel. Following the significant move by the Forest Stewardship Council to remove Pentarch’s Controlled Wood certification, it is incredible that the government can be so glib in dismissing concerns about such a destructive and uneconomic industry,” said Harriett Swift, Deputy Convener of the South East Region Conservation Alliance.

“It’s clear the NSW Government intends to push ahead with its support for burning wood from our precious native forests in power stations while falsely claiming it is green energy with zero emissions. There is no recognition about declining koala or greater glider populations, just more of the fiction that everything is hunky dory and it’s all sustainable. The only people who believe that are those making a profit from the logging,” said Susie Russell, Vice-President, North Coast Environment Council.

“The minister is grossly irresponsible for ignoring the June 2021 advice of the Natural Resources Commission to urgently protect the least burnt forests in high-risk areas and to increase retention of hollow-bearing trees, and future replacements, because of the loss of hollows in the fires that over 170 NSW species depend upon for dens, nests and roosts.”

“The NSW Government’s callous disregard for our threatened species is why Koalas, and hollow-dependent species such as Greater Gliders, Yellow-bellied Gliders, Gang Gang Cockatoos and Glossy Black Cockatoos, are becoming increasingly endangered,” NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

“Public calls for change to NSW native forest management seek to address the very real threats posed by extreme climate and fire impacts to all recovering NSW native forest habitats. An end to logging of high conservation forest stands which provide fire resilience to recovering koalas and gliders is not debatable in 2022, nor is a NSW ban on burning of native forest biomass for energy,” said Meredith Stanton, Secretary, Australian Forests and Climate Alliance.

“This response by the NSW government is obviously in support of its own agency, NSW Forestry Corporation. However, the environmental, economic and social record of this entity has been shown time and again to be destructive, opaque and loss-making, thereby unsustainable, regardless of their public and interdepartmental statements,” said Paul Payten, Steering Group, Great Southern Forest.

“The NSW Government falsely uses the IPCC report about ‘sustainable forest management strategy’ as a justification to continue logging native forests. It is misleadingly out of context. They ignore the IPCC calls for the immediate protection of high-carbon ecosystems such as forests as necessary climate action. We continue to see a government twisting facts to argue the lost case for native forest logging. There is just no good argument to log native forests, which supply the best carbon storage we could wish for. Koalas will not survive ongoing logging of native forests and its immediate end is critically needed in NSW and across Australia,” said Doro Babeck, NSW Campaigner for Bob Brown Foundation.

Supporting organisations:
Bob Brown Foundation
Australian Forests and Climate Alliance
North East Forest Alliance
North Coast Environment Council
Friends of the Forest – Mogo
South East Forest Rescue
Great Southern Forest
South East Region Conservation Alliance
Wilderness Australia
The Australian Rainforest Conservation Society.

Photo by: Paul Hilton

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