The NSW Government has released details of its plan to strip local councils of their ability to limit native forest logging and implement environmental controls which protect threatened species.
“It’s a clear power grab by the National Party which has always been hell bent on allowing more native forest logging,” said Nature Conservation Council CEO Jacqui Mumford.
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Private Native Forestry) Bill 2022 removes the ability for local governments to prohibit or prescribe rules for logging native forests on private land. It does this by making all private nature forestry activity ‘exempt development’ under planning law.
Moreover, it will remove the ability for local government to reject or apply restrictions on logging koala habitat on private land.
“Less than six months ago koalas were declared to be endangered. And how does the government respond? By trying to make it easier to bulldoze their homes.”
The Government’s bill also extends the life of private native forestry plans from 15 to 30 years, which fixes in time any environmental controls despite the clear fact that threatened species’ status and environmental needs will continue to increase.
“For Premier Perrottet to allow this shows complete disregard for every NSW resident who wants their children to grow up in a state with koalas in the wild,” Jacqui Mumford said.
“The idea that this increased logging remit is needed to supply wood for new homes is farcical. House frames are made of plantation pine, not gum trees. NSW residents are too smart for these cheap tricks from the government.”
“NSW needs a complete reset in terms of protections for koala habitat to secure the survival of the species. The upcoming election will be a clear opportunity for this to happen.”