The Australian Greens have put Regional Forest Agreements on the Senate agenda this week, highlighting deep-seated problems with these out-of-date forest management regimes.
Greens forests spokesperson, senator Janet Rice, launched into a a Senator’s Statement, which outlined the case for a new approach to forest management by asking senators what they planned to do over Christmas.
She then painted a picture of the pristine forests that still dot the countryside in parts of Australia, and the opportunities that exist to enjoy them.
But then she described how they were still being wantonly destroyed under regional forest agreements that over-allocate timber leaving huge tracts of land bare.
‘Last time I checked we lived in the 21st century, yet our precious native forests are still being subjected to destructive clearfell logging and the Turnbull government is backing in the status quo,’ said senator Rice.
‘The Regional Forest Agreements that have been in place for 20 years begin to expire next year, with the first of the agreements finishing in February.
‘For the long-term protection of our forests and regional communities, the Turnbull government must scrap these agreements, not extend the status quo and lock in further destruction.’
The senate has passed a motion that highlights deficiencies in the Regional Forest Agreements, and calls on the government to adopt forest policies that ensure that the social, environmental and economic values of forests are effectively protected and managed for future generations.
‘The Regional Forest Agreements have failed to achieve their goal of balancing conservation needs with an economically viable forestry industry,’ said Senator Rice.
‘For the good of communities, jobs and the environment, RFAs must not be renewed.
‘The government must commit to shifting all logging out of native forest, and plan the transition to an economically and environmentally sustainable wood products industry based on well-managed plantations,’ senator Rice said.