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Will koalas be collateral damage of new private forest logging codes?

The NSW Government’s new private native forestry codes must be judged by how effectively they protect the habitat of koalas and other native wildlife.  

The government today announced it was replacing the Private Native Forestry Codes with new Farm Forestry Codes next Monday, May 2, but has released few details. [1] The government has also not released a Natural Resources Commission review of the codes that was handed to the government last month. [2] 

The government claims its new private forestry codes will be ecologically sustainable, but the devil will be in the detail the government has refused to divulge,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said. 

It doesn’t matter how the government describes its codes — ithey don’t protect koalas on private land they will have failed. 

The Coalition in NSW has a record of putting the interests of sawmills and logging companies ahead of big old trees, koalas and other wildlife, so it is reasonable to be skeptical. 

The government has let industry log and flog public native forests for decades, even after the Black Summer fires. 

Now the timber supply from public forests is drying up, the industry is turning to the almost 9 million hectares of private forests. [3] 

“The conservation movement has a very real concern that these new codes may accelerate the loss of some of the best forests we have left.  

We call on the government to release the codes now so the public can see whether koalas will be protected and what other impacts it will have on nature. 

The government should also release the Natural Resources Commission’s review.  

“Announcing the new codes with minimal detail is a media strategy designed to avoid proper scrutiny and does nothing to enhance public trust. 

“We will go through the codes with a fine-toothed comb to see whether they match the government’s rhetoric about doubling koala numbers by 2050.”  

REFERENCES  

[1] A new era for farm forestry, NSW Government media release, 26-4-22

[3] “Private native forests constitute 8.85 million hectares, or 40 per cent of New South Wales' total native forest estate (22.3m ha).” Timber NSW   

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