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Reckless Forestry Corporation Needs Review

NSW Nature Conservation Council is calling for an immediate review of NSW Forestry Corporation, following a reckless plan to resume “business as usual” logging across the state.

“Just seven months after Black Summer, NSW Forestry Corporation wants to pretend the fires never happened,” said Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian.

“Forestry Corporation helped write these rules: their premature attempt to revoke them reveals their contempt for bushfire recovery.”

Forestry Corporation wrote to the EPA stating that it intends to resume business-as-usual activities this month.[1] The EPA describes that course of action as “not tenable at this time”.[2]

Since fires devastated NSW’s forests, Forestry Corporation has repeatedly been investigated and been issued stop-work orders issued for serious alleged breaches of its own rules:

  • Felling protected giant trees in Wild Cattle Creek SF (ABC, EPA release)
  • Damaging four giant 'hollow-bearing trees' and six marked small tallowwood Koala Feed Trees in Wild Cattle Creek SF (North East Forest Alliance Audit)
  • Felling dozens of protected hollow-bearing trees in South Brooman SF (Beagle Weekly, EPA release)
  • Felling protected hollow-bearing trees in Mogo SF (Beagle Weekly)
  • Choosing the most heavily burnt forests to meet retention requirements of Wildlife Habitat Clumps in Myrtle SF (against the protocol which states that priority must be to establish wildlife habitat clumps in unburned areas, North East Forests Alliance Audit)

“The NSW Forestry Corporation’s attacks against post-fire logging conditions show that the state-owned corporation has lost balance and is in urgent need of an independent review.”

“We call on the Treasurer and Finance Minister, as the shareholder ministers, to initiate an immediate review of Forestry Corporation’s management and governance. The review needs to specifically determine whether Forestry Corporation is complying with its obligations under the Forestry Act 2012 which requires ecologically sustainable forestry operations, as well as EPA requirements.”

“Our worst fears for wildlife have been confirmed, with surveys revealing that almost three-quarters of koalas in surveyed areas perished last summer.[3]

“Forest Corporation has enormous trust placed in its hands as managers of NSW State Forests. The public has a right to know if that trust is being violated.”

References

[1]  FCNSW’s letter to the EPA, 7 September 2020

[2] EPA Update on forestry operations and regulatory activities, accessed 23 September 2020

[3] Survey finds 71 per cent of koala populations died in some NSW fires, SMH, September 5, 2020

 

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