A meeting tonight at Lismore Workers Club will give locals a final chance to express their concerns about the state and federal governments’ plans for logging of public lands over the next 20 years, which have been widely criticised by environment groups.
The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) and local groups have been hosting a series of public meetings to inform the community about the proposed rule changes, which they say will ‘remove protections for most threatened species, open up protected old-growth forest for logging, allow intensified logging, establish a clearfelling zone, and reduce buffers on headwater streams’.
‘With a new Regional Forest Agreement and Wood Supply Agreements the governments are intending to lock up our public forests for loggers for another 20 years, and they are proposing to slash environmental protections to increase logging volumes,’ NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
‘This is the last chance that the community has to have a say in the management of our public forests for the next 20 years.
‘We have so far hosted successful public meetings at Port Macquarie, Bellingen, Kyogle, Murwillumbah, Nimbin and Coffs Harbour. On Thursday night in Coffs Harbour 100 people were shocked to hear what the NSW and Commonwealth governments have in store for our public forests.
‘It will be Lismore’s turn on tonight to find out more about what the governments are intending.
‘Tens of thousands of hectares of our precious public forests are already suffering from ecosystem collapse, being converted into seas of lantana overtopped by dead and dying trees. Their biodiversity and timber values are being destroyed.
‘The dieback is so severe that five state forests around Woodenbong are “considered impractical to manage for commercial purposes”. There are many others similarly degraded.
‘We need to stop the Forestry Corporation from perpetuating their degradation and begin rehabilitating these valuable public assets before it is too late.
‘We urge people to come along to find out more about the governments’ dire proposals for our public native forests’ Mr. Pugh said
The meeting will be held on Tuesday night (June 19) from 5:30 pm at Lismore Workers Club.