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Burnt, logged and flogged - Forestry Corp presses ahead with unsustainable logging program

The Nature Conservation Council has renewed calls for an end to native forest logging in State forests following revelations that up to 30% of the quality timber in some regions was destroyed by the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires.

The losses detailed in a Forestry Corporation report dated December 2020 but only made public on March 26 after a parliamentary inquiry forced its release. [1]

“This report shows yet again that logging in NSW State forests is both financially unviable and ecological unsustainable,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.

“The government now needs to outline its plan to transition out of native forest logging to a sustainable plantation based industry.

“The EPA slowed Forestry Corp’s destructive behaviour by enforcing post-fire logging rules, but the corporation has now gone rogue, defying EPA controls and resuming pre-fire logging practices. 

“The NSW Government must resume control of the state’s public forests and manage them for all of us, not just the big resources companies.

“The Coalition government’s decision in 2012 to let a state-owned corporation manage our forests has cost taxpayers millions and degraded a priceless community asset. 

“It is time to end this failed experiment.

“Our public forests are in serious decline because of decades of unsustainable logging, and the Black Summer bushfires were a massive hit. They must be given time to recover.

"Logging at rates Forestry Corp wants to set will convert our public forests from stands of big old trees to thickets of saplings destined for the chip mill. There is nothing sustainable about that.” 

REFERENCES

[1] 2019–20 Wildfires, NSW Coastal Hardwood Forests Sustainable Yield Review, NSW Forestry Corporation, December 2020.  See also NSW urged to stop logging native forests after fires wipe out up to 30% of timber supply, The Guardian, 30-3-21 



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