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Byron Shire
May 19, 2024

Logging costs taxpayers $20m

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Hard evidence that logging the native Australian forests does not add up economically and that it will have risk of ‘serious or irreversible harm’ to native forests appears to hold no water with the current NSW state government.

According to the NSW Forestry Corporation’s annual report logging native forests is not only driving species to extinction it is also costing taxpayers millions of dollars according to the Nature Conservation Council.

‘In 2020-21, the native forestry arm of the NSW Government’s logging company lost $20 million and prospects of it turning a profit any time soon are dim. This result should be good news for our native forests because there is now no rational economic argument for propping up that part of the industry,’ Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.

‘The latest annual report shows NSW taxpayers unwittingly paying to cut down forests the people want protected. It’s not just ecologically and economically unsustainable, it is morally indefensible.’

None-the-less NSW Forestry Minister Dugald Saunders has confirmed negotiations are on foot to extend North Coast logging contracts for five years to 2028 despite a Government report warning that existing logging cannot continue and that post fire logging presents a risk of ‘serious or irreversible harm’ to native forests.

Independent NSW MLC Justin Field said ‘It’s totally unacceptable that the Minister would even consider extending contracts when the Government still hasn’t responded to the impact of the 2019/20 fires on our forests.’

‘The report from the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) makes clear that business as usual for the native forest logging industry is simply not possible or acceptable in the aftermath of the 2019/20 fires,’Mr Field said.

‘The Government is acting like the fires never happened. They are trying to lock in contracts that will devastate North Coast forests despite their own experts recognising a significant impact on wood supply.

‘I’m calling on the Minister to halt all contract negotiations and establish an immediate moratorium on logging in ‘extreme’, ‘high’, and ‘medium’ risk sites identified by the NRC report. The Government must explain how they will sustainably manage our forests into the future before any new contracts are signed.’

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  1. While Justin has left the door open, a little, the general tone of this is to demonise use of our natural (reneeable) resources – when the alternative for building materials is to increase the amount of mining and burning of fossil fuels that takes place, to manufacture alternate building materials. Complete with an increase in irreversible CO2 emissions, in a climate emergency.

    What a shame.

    What needs to stop is wasting our forest resource on uneconomic woodchipping operations.

    Not all logging.

    Sustainable forestry to obtain lowest-CO2 building products, which is not uneconomic, is what needs to continue; woodchipping is what needs to stop.

    Especially now when we need to build pole houses on the hills to get the people out of the floodplains – poles that should come from the abandoned monoculture plantations, with the native regrowth forests used for other construction materials (only) after these poles come from the abandoned plantations.

    Why does the northern rivers community keep shooting itself in the foot with such negative attacks on the very concept of using sustainable (renewable) resources, even now when the record floods have created the greatest ever opportunity to campaign for a social housing project as I described using environmentally best-practice approach?

  2. The continuing moronic anti-environment policies of LNP governments just has to stop. Please never vote for these twits again. Scumo will go in May but Domicron not until 2023. Do not forget how viciously useless they have been.

  3. Timber is in short supply for flood re-building, cost is up 35% and rising.
    We need our state and private forests to help.

    • We must stop the parasitical approach to destroying what creates the beauty and sustainable ecosystems of these places we wish to occupy.
      Sticking pole houses on the side of hills has proven in recent weeks to be as unsustainable as building on flood plains. So many houses on hills lost, destroyed, damaged by the inherent instability of fragile soils and the removal of the native trees and ecosystems that held them together.
      Humans now sit far too heavily in the Earth.

  4. Our ” our natural (reneeable) resources ” have been grossly over allocated, to greedy profiteering timber-mills and have not, and are not, renewable because the time needed to grow trees to millable size is far beyond the scope of commercial ‘resource extraction’ industry or the incompetent Forest NSW to manage or even plan for.
    The proof of this is the fact that forest areas have been continuously degraded and cannot meet ongoing commitments to mills , there are still native forests being chipped for Japanese toilet paper, as is the vast majority of plantation timber that was meant to furnish the “renewable ” side of the equation to balance the wholesale rape of this resource .
    Our forests are now too degraded to ever be managed in a sustainable way and if there was any sanity in government they would be protected and managed as a refuge for our native flora and fauna that are facing extinction at world beating rate .
    Cheers, G”)


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