Key independent MPs and candidates took to NSW State Forests today to shine a light on the need for forest protection ahead of the upcoming New South Wales election.
MPs Justin Field (MLC) and Sue Higginson (MLC) were joined by candidates Joeline Hackman (Independent for Manly), Karen Freyer (Independent for Vaucluse) and Liza Butler (Labor - South Coast) on a visit to native state forests which are earmarked for logging.
The tour included logged and unlogged parts of the biodiversity rich Boyne, Benandarah and Brooman state forests, which are home to large populations of endangered species including the swift parrot and the southern greater and yellow-bellied gliders.
The field trip was organised by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW to draw attention to the 14,000 hectares of incredible native state forest which are destroyed each year by government approved logging.
NCC Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford says forest protection will be a defining issue at the election on March 25.
“Voters want an end to native forest logging. They don't want to live in a state where iconic wildlife like the koala and the Gang-Gang Cockatoo are driven to extinction by political inaction.
“Nor is there any economic argument to continue native forest logging, given plantation forests already provide 90% of New South Wales timber production.”
Manly independent Joeline Hackman says the major parties are on notice not to ignore the wishes of voters.
“What we saw today in the great forests of the South Coast are areas of outstanding environmental value.
“No matter where people live in New South Wales, they want these beautiful forests preserved for generations to come,” said Ms Hackman.
Vaucluse independent Karen Freyer says today’s visit reinforced the urgent need to protect our ancient native forests.
“The community cares deeply about the destruction of forests and the clearing of important koala habitat.
“If we learned one thing from last year’s federal election, it's that voters are sick and tired of being taken for granted. They want an end to logging and a much better deal for our precious wildlife.
“We have no more time to waste,” said Ms Freyer.
Stills and footage of today’s can be found here -
Justin Field - Independent MP 0439 205 835
Sue Higginson - Greens MP 0421 926 233
Joeline Hackman - Independent candidate (Manly) 0422 430 412 Karen Freyer - Independent candidate (Vaucluse) 0499 220 374 Liza Butler - Labor Candidate (South Coast) 0478 805 588
NCC contact - Wilson Harris 0479 100 461