As Rob de Fégely, the Federal Forest Industry Advisory Council Chair, prepares to tour the magnificent river Murray Valley National Parks and red gum forests of the Riverina, the National Parks Association of NSW urges him to reject calls for logging to resume in protected areas.
NPA Science Officer, Dr Oisín Sweeney said: ‘the red gums forests are one of Australia’s ecological jewels. They are forested wetlands which is extraordinary in itself, but they are also globally important Ramsar listed¬ wetlands1.’
He continued: ‘logging in protected areas is bonkers. The Victorian government know this which is why they withdrew from the ‘thinning trial’. Australia has a proud history of global leadership on protecting its natural wonders. Why is Canberra now intent on rolling this back and humiliating the nation for the personal gain of a select few?’
NPA CEO, Kevin Evans, added ‘let’s not forget that it was only a few years ago that over $90 million was paid to the logging industry to help transition out of logging after the Murray Valley National Park was created. Talk about the age of entitlement!’
‘Where did that money go? How is it that, after such an extravagant golden handshake, loggers can ask for access to the new national park and keep a straight face? And how can this seriously be considered by our political leaders? These are important questions that should be answered on behalf of the citizens of NSW, who footed the $90m bill just a few years ago.’
The NPA notes Mr de Fégely’s support for national parks and joins him in calling for national parks to be properly funded2. However, the NPA does not accept that broad-scale logging by commercial operators is an acceptable management tool for national parks.
- Australian Government. Australia's Ramsar sites, <http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/0d08923b-a60d-4564-9af2-a7023b7aaf29/files/ramsar-sites_0.pdf>
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Forester to head new Forestry Industry Advisory Council, <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/forester-to-head-new-forestry-industry-advisory-council/5302164> (2014).