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The report card is in: NSW ranks last among states for forest protection

31st July 2023 

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the states leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today called on the NSW Government to commit to turning around the state’s abysmal deforestation record. 

The Trees Scorecard report released today by WWF-Australia has ranked NSW dead last for forest protection and restoration. 

The report made a number of recommendations to the NSW Government to improve their record, including an end to native forest logging, strengthening land clearing laws, incorporating the benefit of forest retention in the NSW Net Zero Plan, and improving transparency. 

“NSW is the only mainland state without a plan to end native forest logging. NSW are outliers in what is clearly the future of forestry – a transition to 100% plantation timber,” said NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford. 

Statements attributable to NCC Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Mumford 

“Sadly, Australia is a deforestation hotspot up there with the Brazilian Amazon and the Congo Basin. And we have the worst mammal extinction rate in the world. It’s time we turned this abysmal record around.” 

“In NSW between 2018-2021 264,170 hectares of forests were cleared – that’s more than three trees bulldozed every 10 seconds. The NSW Government has the opportunity to put the state on a new trajectory – one that will take us off the list of deforestation nations and repair the damage done by native forest logging and watered-down land clearing laws that have loopholes big enough to fit a bulldozer through. 

NSW is struggling with run-away land clearing after 12 years of the Coalition weakening regulations. Land clearing rates have tripled since 2016 and it’s time this was fixed. In The NSW Vegetation Clearing Report released today, we can see that land clearing for agriculture is still increasing – woody vegetation clearing for agriculture has increased by 15%. 

“Australia has some of the most iconic animals and pristine wilderness in the world but we have a long way to go to truly value and protect our wildlife and forests. 

“We’ve already destroyed far too much of the NSW bush. Only 36 per cent of forest and woodland in NSW remains intact. What’s left should be protected, not pulped. Our forests are worth more standing.” 

Statement ends 

Background 

  • ACT and SA have had no native forest logging for many years;  
  • Victoria has announced an end to native forest logging by the start of 2024;  
  • WA has announced an end to native forest logging in the south-west of the state by 2024;  
  • NT currently has no native forest logging industry but have left the door open to developing the industry in the future. 
  • Queensland has made moves to end native forest logging in the south-east. 

Media contact: Anna Greer 

E: [email protected] Ph: (02) 7208 9482 

Note: NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford is available for comment on request  

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