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Pages tagged "logging"

150 hectares of habitat lost each day in NSW

Latest land clearing data shows 150 hectares of wildlife habitat is bulldozed or logged every day in NSW, almost twice the average annual rate recorded before the Coalition overhauled nature laws in 2016. [1] 

The annual Statewide Land and Tree Study (SLATS) data shows 54,500 hectares of native forest were destroyed for farming, forestry and development in 2019. 

“This astounding rate of deforestation is a disaster for wildlife and the climate. We call on the government to take urgent action to reverse the trend,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.   

“In just one year we have lost an area of forest four times the size of Royal National Park. It is simply unsustainable. 

“Using widely accepted data on wildlife population densities, clearing on that scale would have killed up to 9 million animals - mammals, birds and reptiles – in just 12 months. [2] 

“After the government weakened land clearing laws in 2016, deforestation rates doubled and have remained at these dangerously high levels ever since. 

“The Coalition promised its new laws would enhance protections for bushland and wildlife.  

“These figures, and the rising number of threatened species, shows the laws completely fail to deliver on that promise. 

“More than 1,020 plants and animals are now threatened with extinction in NSW, about 20 more than when the scheme was introduced. 

“The 74% of clearing is designated as ‘unexplained’ in this report shows the government has lost control of deforestation in NSW.  

“We welcomed the government establishing new national parks over the past year, but the national parks system covers less than 10% of the state.

“The government must stop uncontrolled deforestation on private land and in state forests if it is going to tackle the extinction crisis.” 

[1] Land cover change reporting, DPIE, June 2021  

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.” 


[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 

MEDIA CONTACT: James Tremain | 0419 22 254

NSW Government must take back control of public forests

The NSW Government must take back control of the state’s public forests to ensure they are managed for the benefit of all citizens, not just a handful of large resource companies.

“NSW Forestry Corporation has become a rogue organisation that disregards the law and has trashed thousands of hectares of public forests,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.

“We can now see that giving management of our forests to a state-owned corporation is a failed experiment that has cost taxpayers millions and degraded a priceless community asset.

“In the past 12 months, the Corporation has repeatedly broken environmental laws to meet unsustainable wood supply contracts it should never have signed.

“Today it is revealed the corporation’s revenue is set to decline $100 million or 25 per cent from next financial year and there would be losses of about $15 million a year from 2022 to 2024. [1]

“NSW taxpayers are effectively subsidising the loss of habitat and species in the name of retaining the hardwood timber industry that does not have an economically viable plan for its future. 

“Hardwood timber supply management in public forests should be a direct role for government to ensure that genuine timber supply needs are balanced with the needs of ecosystems and communities.”

Last year the Environment Protection Authority investigated Forestry Corporation for serious breaches of environmental laws and issued stop-work orders. Instances include:

  • 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).


[1] Forestry Corp facing massive revenue drop after record bushfire season, SMH, 22-1-2021