16 Dec 2022
NSW MISSES OPPORTUNITY TO PROTECT KOALAS FROM LOGGING
The NSW Government has missed an opportunity to protect koalas, greater gliders and other threatened species from logging with its response to a parliamentary inquiry into the forestry and timber industries, said WWF-Australia.
The inquiry was established to investigate the long term sustainability and future of the timber and forest products industry.
In its response to the inquiry’s recommendations, the NSW Government failed to commit to ending native forest logging and transition to a plantations-based timber industry.
“World leaders are gathering in Montreal for COP15 to try to agree on a global deal to halt biodiversity loss, but in NSW it is business-as-usual on forests,” said WWF-Australia conservation scientist Dr Stuart Blanch.
“The catastrophic bushfires of 2019/20 provided further grounds to protect forests from logging, but the government has failed to make this commitment.
“It is a terrible missed opportunity. We need to protect and restore forests, create jobs in innovative wood manufacturing, and secure timber supply chains by expanding plantations.
“This inquiry was a chance to provide certainty for the future of the timber industry by committing to an end date for native forestry and supporting the transition to plantations.
“The response means trees that koalas, gliders, and other forest wildlife live and feed in will continue to be cut down.
While disappointed with the government’s response, Dr Blanch said he welcomed its support for the expansion of the plantation estate in NSW.
“WWF recommends an additional 30,000 hectares of hardwood plantations be developed to help the transition out of native forest logging,” he said.
“We also urge the government to commit to a process to establish the Great Koala National Park.”