The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) will be holding a rally this morning outside the Coffs Harbour Council Chambers, before the Coffs Harbour hearing of NSW Upper House, Portfolio Committee 4, ‘Inquiry into the long term sustainability and future of the timber and forest products industry’.
During the rally that will go from 10.30am to 11.30am today, NEFA want to emphasise to the Committee that there is no social licence for the continued logging of public native forests and that in the midst of the developing climate and extinction crises we need to take urgent action, with the most effective action we can take immediately to begin to address the problems is to stop logging public native forests, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
Logging halved the carbon stored in forests
‘Through logging we have halved the carbon stored in our forests, by stopping logging the recovering forests will be able to regain the lost carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their trunks and soils, taking up a significant amount of what NSW releases every year.
‘While we need to reduce our emissions, if we are ever to reach net-zero we need to increase carbon capture and storage, and trees are the only proven way to make a significant difference.
Mr Pugh said as the forests recover so too will the resources needed by our threatened fauna, giving them a better chance of withstanding the increasing intensity and frequency of droughts, heatwaves and wildfires.
The public have had enough
‘The Committee needs to recognise that the public have had enough of seeing our public forests progressively degraded and turned into pseudo-plantations. They provide a higher return to the community from tourism, carbon storage, water and habitat.
‘A 2016 survey for Forestry and Wood Products Australia of 12,000 people throughout Australia found that native forest logging was considered unacceptable by 65 per cent of rural residents and acceptable by only 17 per cent
‘The Committee needs to focus on identifying a just and equitable transition strategy for the 500 workers across north-east NSW that will be affected by protecting public native forests,’ said Mr Pugh.