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Byron Shire
July 14, 2024

Barham calls on Berejiklian to axe state forest logging

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Greens MLC Jan Barham. Photo Eve Jeffery.
Outgoing Greens MLC Jan Barham. Photo Eve Jeffery.

Greens NSW Forests spokesperson Jan Barham has called on the new premier Gladys Berejiklian to take action on climate change and the environment by halting the logging of public native forests.

In her final act as a member of parliament, Ms Barham said it was ‘time for the new premier to act on climate change and the environment by putting a stop to the logging of public native forests in NSW’.

Ms Barham told Echonetdaily it was ‘ironically fitting’ that her final political act was a call for an end to state forestry, as ‘my first campaign with Ian Cohen all those years ago was opposing logging in state forests’.

Ms Barham said the Berejiklian government ‘has an opportunity to protect biodiversity while delivering new economic opportunities in tourism, recreation and plantation forestry by bringing an end to destructive and unsustainable logging in state forests.

‘It will be a test of the new premier to see whether she listens to the science and the community by recognising that the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) have failed, and a new direction in forest management is essential for the future of our forests and the protection of vulnerable species such as koalas,’ she said.

The RFAs have failed to deliver ecologically sustainable forest management and the state’s native forestry sector has been poorly managed and unprofitable over many years.

‘The government cannot consider new forest agreements and needs to recognise that the future of timber supply is in an enhanced plantation industry.

Ms Barham noted that as well as the biodiversity benefits, protecting native forests would make an important contribution to addressing the state’s need to improve climate action.

‘Saving our forests would deliver a substantial opportunity for carbon capture. The NSW Forestry Corporation manages 1.8 million hectares of native forests and research from the Australian National University has shown that natural eucalypt forests in southeast Australia store an average of 640 tonnes of carbon per hectare. Preventing the destruction of mature forests and allowing logged areas of native forest to regrow has the potential to make an effective contribution to climate change mitigation.

‘The NSW Government has set a long-term aspirational greenhouse gas emissions target but hasn’t taken responsibility for urgently acting on climate change now. They didn’t support the Greens’ climate change legislation that would require a whole of government approach to meet annual carbon budgets and identify strategies to reduce emissions.

‘The new premier can change course, beginning with the clear need to preserve our forests and use them to store more carbon,’ she said.

Ms Barham said that the 1992 National Forest Policy Statement, which was signed by all states, ‘promised a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system and ecologically sustainable forest management’.

But, she added, ‘this hasn’t occurred.’

‘The decisions of the current government will decide whether the next quarter of a century will see irreversible damage to forests, the extinction of more native species and continued global warming.

‘I urge premier Berejiklian to set NSW on a better course for future generations,’ Ms Barham concluded.

Jan Barham will be replaced as MLC by Dawn Walker on February 10.

 

 


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Greens NSW Forests spokesperson Jan Barham hammers a spike into the new premier Gladys Berejiklian to take action to change back the changing climate by keeping carbon trapped in living trees and to halt the logging of public native forests.
    Ms Barham has been metaphorically part of the furniture of the NSW parliament and is to clean out her desk and to push in her chair there for the last time. She said it was ‘time for the new premier to act on climate change and the environment by putting a stop to the logging of public native forests in NSW’.
    Ms Barham who gave it her all in the halls of parliament told Echonetdaily it was ‘ironically fitting’ that her final political act was a call for an end to state forestry, as ‘my first campaign with Ian Cohen all those years ago was opposing logging in state forests’.
    And as the buzz saws continue on and the blight of patches of parched ground become more apparent in the forests where mighty trees once stood Ms Barham in another place where she stood her ground takes a step out of parliament while another green steps in.

  2. Len Heggarty comes close to making some good points.
    I too would like to see increases in carbon storage through timber but I would like more. Let’s see it stored in furniture, decking, and flooring and wood panels by making use of our beautiful native timber and plant new, young trees to absorb more atmospheric carbon as they grow.
    As for the biodiversity argument I suppose facts such as the relocation of long-nosed potaroos from harvested multi-use State forests (where they thrive) to locked up National Parks – where they have gone extinct will have no bearing on the pure emotional response held by most Greens.
    One Greens MP goes, another one arrives and the whining continuues.

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