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March 2, 2024

Costs of native forest logging to NSW residents revealed

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Native forest being clearfelled in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest for conversion to plantations, with part of the area already converted and planted with blackbutt. Photo NEFA.

NSW Forestry Corporation’s Annual Report has been tabled in the NSW Parliament today and as expected, shows a $9 million dollar loss for the hardwood division.

Greens MP and spokesperson for the Environment Sue Higginson says the hardwood division conducts logging operations in public native forests and is directly driving the climate and extinction crises.

‘The people of NSW have lost another $9 million dollars to the unprofitable and irresponsible destruction of our public native forests,’ said Ms Higginson.

‘Public native forests are being destroyed and turned into low-value products such as wood chips for export, fence palings and pallets while taxpayers in NSW foot the bill for the $9 million loss in 2021/22.

‘These native forests are home to endangered koalas and greater gliders and must be preserved if we hope to save these species from extinction,’ she said. ‘The softwood division by contrast earned $47 million from plantations that can be managed sustainably and go to building homes and other high value uses.’

She says the government is being dishonest to justify the ongoing logging in public native forests.

‘The reality is that native forest logging is unprofitable and comes with an unacceptable cost to the natural environment. Communities and workers need a managed transition out of native forest logging and into 100% sustainable plantations so they can have long term security.’

Sue Higginson MLC. Photo Tree Faerie.

The crazy economics of destruction

‘The Frontier Economics report comparing the value of alternative uses of native forests in Southern NSW shows that ending logging in public native forests could save NSW $62 million over the next 30 years,’ said Sue Higginson.

‘Frontier Economics has also shown us that the transition to 100% plantations could cost as little as $30 million per year over ten years,’ she said. ‘The time is now to plan the transition from public native forest logging while it is costing NSW millions of dollars every year.

‘We need to save our forests for their value as habitat, carbon sinks and recreational values.’

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  1. To stop all logging is the aim of the Greens, on both public and private land.
    That’s an established fact.
    But our forests are very well managed – far better than imported timber sources.
    Plantations here will take 30yrs to the first harvest and perhaps 60+ years for medium saw-logs.
    In this dire time of reconstruction, needed in NSW after the ravages of fire and flood, we need re-construction timber right now.
    But wait – the Greens regularly terrify our children with propaganda that in 30-60 years we will all be dead or dying due to ‘global warming’.
    So I think Sue Higginson (et al) should have another think over her ethos and honesty in this debate.
    You can never have it both ways !

  2. Logging Native forests has a number of hidden but very valuable benefits. Obviously it produces valuable hardwood. But less obvious is that it maintains fire trails and firebreaks which facilitate hazard reduction burns; enabling fires to be better controlled and allowing Native species to escape the conflagration.

    Much of the cost this industry ensures is due to the inefficiencies imposed on the foresters by onerous regulation.

  3. Looks like some loggers/jinker drivers are trolling this article. Well go and get a more responsible job that’s not destroying native forests, killing native animals and accelerating climate change. The taxpayer should not be subsidising some pathetic, unskilled jobs that should be relegated to the dustbin.

    • No Brian, bad luck over that attempted slur.
      I was never a logger, jinker-driver – nor troll.
      [Actually FYI, I have been actively involved in the local forestry management debates since 1974.]

  4. For the native forest massacre fanboys, get yourselves onto the Youtube and dial up John Williamson, ‘Rip Rip Woodchip’.
    Case closed.


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