18th April 2023
Giant trees almost felled: Suspension of logging highlights the need for greater oversight of NSW forestry Corp
The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today welcomed the cessation of logging operations in Doubleduke State Forest on Bundjalung Country near Grafton.
The EPA conducted a site inspection in response to concerns raised by members of the community and identified that Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) was planning to commence illegal logging operations.
“This highlights the vital role members of the community are playing in protecting our native forests” CEO Jacqui Mumford said today. “If it wasn’t for a dedicated group of conservationists, Forestry NSW would have destroyed habitat for critically endangered species like the greater glider, koala and both the powerful and masked owl’.
“It also highlights the culture of noncompliance and malpractice that characterises FCNSW, who has been allowed to run rogue under the previous Liberal National Government.”
“Every day we hear new reports of Forestry NSW breaking the law. FCNSW has been fined or prosecuted 10 times since 2020 for breaches such as illegally felling protected giant trees, felling trees with hollows, and felling koala feed trees.”
“Their own industry study showed that in logging communities 65% of people are against native forest logging- their social license to operate is rapidly disappearing.”
"We know that those figures jump even higher when people hear that most trees taken from native forests end up as cardboard, woodchips and other low-grade products that are sent overseas.”
Mumford said she was hopeful that the new government would follow their Western Australian and Victorian Labor colleagues and end native forest logging in NSW.
“At the very least, we need to see greater enforcement of the existing laws, and an end to the absurd subsidies that keep this industry going.”
In the last two years the hardwood division of Forestry Corporation (the section responsible for native forest logging) lost $29m of taxpayers' money.
Further statements attributable to Jacqui Mumford, NCC CEO
“Forests are the lungs of the earth. They are essential to clean air, a sustainable climate and healthy ecosystems where plants and animals can thrive.”
“Critically endangered species like the powerful owl, gang-gang cockatoo, greater glider and koala will go extinct in our lifetime unless we take action now.”
“We’ve already destroyed far too much of the NSW bush. The remaining habitats should be protected, not pulped.”
You can view current or planned native forest logging operations at the Coastal IFOA Native Forest Plan of Operations Map (12 Months) here: https://planportal.fcnsw.net/
An image of the EPA carrying out the inspection is available here: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/news/news/2023/protecting-giant-trees-in-doubleduke-state-forest
Media contact: Clancy Barnard