Greens MP and Forests spokesperson Dawn Walker has slammed the State Government's failure to rule-out allowing intensive logging practices into North Coast forests, following intense questioning in this week’s Budget Estimates hearings in State Parliament.
When asked directly if the Government would introduce intensive harvesting or clear-felling practices currently used on the South Coast to the Mid North Coast and the North Coast under the Government’s proposed remake of forestry regulatory rules, known as IFOAs, the Minister for Lands and Forestry, Paul Toole refused to directly respond and stated that a draft consultation on the IFOA will be coming out at the end of the year.
“It’s absolutely appalling to think the Government would even consider allowing intense clear-fell style logging operations in our precious North Coast forests that are home to so many rare and threatened species, including koalas,” Ms Walker said.
“If implemented, these changes to NSW forestry operations will result in the death of many of NSW’s most threatened species.
“Our communities will not tolerate this level of destruction in their public native forests and the fact the Minister can’t rule-out introducing more destructive logging practices into our North Coast Forests is alarming for our communities and wildlife.”
She said the Government’s plan to permit more intensive logging operations on the North Coast was first revealed in leaked Forestry Corporation documents in June 2017, proposing a radical overhaul of forestry rules that would see the elimination of long-standing threatened species protections and a new "intensive harvesting" zone of 35,000 hectares of high-productivity Blackbutt forest between Grafton and Taree.