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Transition to plantation timber would be a win for the nature and industry

NSW’s peak conservation group supports the expansion of timber plantations in NSW as recommended by the Upper House timber inquiry as the best way to guarantee timber supply while avoiding further extinctions of forest-dwelling wildlife. 

The expansion of plantations was a key recommendation of the upper house inquiry into the future of the timber industry that tabled its report today. [1]  

“We fully support the committee’s recommendation to expand timber plantations wherever this can be done without losing native forests or highly productive farmland,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Jacqui Mumford said. 

“The need to protect native forests from industrial logging has never been greater, with koalas and many other forest species sliding towards extinction, and huge areas of forest decimated by the 2019-20 bushfires." 

The inquiry report also called on the Government to respond to leaked advice that logging rules were insufficient to avoid unacceptable harm to the environment 

"Since the bushfires burned 40% of NSW state forests, it's time for a reset. It's simply untenable to continue chopping down these trees that koalas, gliders, and owls need for their very survival," Ms Mumford said. 

“Transitioning away from logging our native forests to a sustainable, 100% plantation-based industry can be a win for industry and for nature.” 

Key recommendations  

Rec 1. That the NSW Government identify and implement as a priority a long term funded strategy for the expansion of both softwood and hardwood timber plantations in New South Wales. 

Rec 12. That the NSW Government publicly release and respond to the findings of the Natural Resources Commission’s Coastal IFOA operations post 2019/20 wildfires final report on post bushfire logging in public native forests before the end of 2022. 

Rec 13. That the NSW Government review the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval with regard to the impacts of the 2019/20 bushfires and the findings of the 2021 NSW and Commonwealth State of the Environment Reports. 

Rec 14. That the NSW Government ensure that the NSW Environment Protection Authority has the necessary resources to undertake its forestry compliance obligations. 

REFERENCES 

[1] Report of the Legislative Council inquiry into Long-term sustainability and future of the timber and forest products industry, 15-9-22.  

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