New South Wales native forests are being rapidly destroyed and are in imminent danger of permanent destruction if wood supply agreements are renewed and logging continues.
Having audited and reported on the illegality of Forests Corporation operations on the Mid North Coast and examined multiple reports of illegal logging across the state, Nativesrule has travelled to the north coast to share this state wide issue with the people of the Ballina, Lismore and Tweed electorates.
The threats to north coast native forests include:
- removal of current (already inadequate) logging regulations that will make it almost impossible to prosecute logging operators for damage they incur;
- the introduction of clear fell cable logging, a rapid sterilisation process whereby native forests are being artificially converted into a single species dominated landscape;
- Bell Miner Dieback proliferation where heavily logged areas become prone to infestation by birds which farm parasites that weaken tree stands;
- massive weed invasion, erosion and loss of top soil and, most significantly;
- a loss of trees of varying age and especially of the older hollow bearing trees vital for the survival of many north coast marsupials.
Even our water supplies are at stake. These forests need at least 100 years to recover from the battering of the last five years. But it’s not only the loss of the timber resource. Intensive industrialized logging has altered the light regimes of upper catchments to such an extent that weed invasion by camphor laurel will become a threat to water supply along the east coast.
As millions, not thousands of hectares have been exposed to bare earth by logging machinery, the toxic weed camphor laurel has been able to germinate en masse. It will commence to poison waterways from the most remote upper reaches and proliferate downstream unless restoration work begins immediately.
Thank goodness the Greens are taking notice of this and restoration is high on their policy agenda.
Nativesrule attended the launch of the Greens Forest Policy on March 4 and recommends voters take heed that it addresses the issue of public native forest restoration.
Frances Pike, spokesperson, Nativesrule