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Worth more standing: Blueprint report highlights the economic benefits of ending native forest logging, funding transition for workers

Photo by Max Phillips

27th April 2023 

Worth more standing: Blueprint report highlights the economic benefits of ending native forest logging, funding transition for workers 

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the states leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today argued that the Blueprint Institute’s Branching Out report highlights the absurdity of continuing native forest logging in NSW.  

This report provides a conservative voice calling for an immediate end to native forest logging, finding an end to the practice in the north east forests of NSW would see a benefit of $45 million by 2040.  

Jacqui Mumford, NCC CEO, said the report illustrates just how much money is being wasted pulping critically endangered animal habitats to make cardboard and woodchips. 

“The NSW Forestry Corporation has wasted $29M of taxpayers' money in the past two years logging native forest. It sells the logs to mills for less than the cost of production. Other businesses don't receive cheap business inputs from the government, so why should an industry with such a devastating impact on our environment?” 

“This report also demonstrates how easy it would be to end native forest logging in NSW. All the NSW government would need to do is end the absurd subsidies that are keeping this industry going.” 

“Combine that with greater enforcement of the currently weak environmental protection laws, and the industry would be gone.” 

“This fragility also highlights the need to fund a transition for workers, which this report found would actually cost less than the current subsidies being directed to the industry." 

Key findings from the report include:  

  • “Ending native forest logging in 2023–24 instead of 2039-40 (the date that the North East Regional Forestry Agreement is currently scheduled to expire), and instead utilising the land for carbon sequestration and tourism will deliver a net benefit valued at $45 million in present-day dollars.” 
  • “This includes the estimated cost of providing transitional packages to the industry as it shuts down, as well as the cost of breaking wood supply agreements that extend to 2028” 
  • “Assess[ing] the native logging industry on its own free market merits against alternate land uses for native forest, we find a net benefit of $260.1 million in ceasing logging immediately.” 

Further Statements attributable to NCC Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Mumford 

“Forests are the lungs of the earth. They are essential to clean air, a sustainable climate and the survival of critically endangered species like the powerful owl, gang-gang cockatoo, greater glider and koala.” 

“We’ve already destroyed far too much of the NSW bush. The remaining habitats should be protected, not pulped.” 

“The public safety risk of native forest logging, which makes bushfires worse by drying out forests and leaving dead debris on the ground, ought to provide further evidence for the need to end this destructive and dangerous industry 

Statement ends 

Media contact: Clancy Barnard 

E: [email protected]  Ph: 0438 869 332 

Note: The full report can be accessed here 

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