Time to stop wasting our public land and resources

Danielle Ryan, NPA Conservation Campaigner

With more than two hundred years of unsustainable logging practices, it is time for NSW and Tasmania to join the other states in Australia to put an end to native forestry logging on public land.

Forestry Corporation is acting like a rogue government agency — it was prosecuted and fined four times in June for illegally logging koala habitat and fire-affected forests. This includes fines and costs totalling $285,600 destroying koala habitat at Wild Cattle Creek on the mid-North Coast. Yet, the government is permitting our state-owned corporation to ramp up its activity. The fine for this illegal logging activity by a state-owned entity will be paid for out of the public purse.

To make matters worse, there are now reports that Forestry Corporation is gearing up to commence logging the Kalang Headwaters at Oakes State Forest adjacent to New England National Park, home to the Rufous Scrub bird (listed as vulnerable). The local conservation-community fears Forestry Corporation is on a mission to log as much of the proposed Great Koala National Park area as they can before the wood supply agreement ends.

Considering new data by the Department of Planning, Environment and Industry shows every day 75 hectares of wildlife habitat is being logged or bulldozed in NSW, it is critical that we put an end to biodiversity loss.   

Last month, NSW parliament had an opportunity to put the brakes on clearing forest on public land, with an opportunity save our iconic koala by voting ‘yes’ on The Great Koala National Park Bill (8 June 2022). Unfortunately, it was defeated 30 to 7. This is despite our publicly owned Forestry Corporation making a loss of $20 million loss last year, at the expense of taxpayers.

Parliamentary ePetition

So much of our public land has been laid to waste, but there is also that 10% of it on the land that the people of NSW have fought hard to protect — let ending native forestry on public land be the legacy of our generation.

Mr Pile is one of those people who have fought hard to protect that 10%.

In August we reached, and exceeded the target of 20,000 signatures on the Parliamentary ePetition to ‘End Public Native Forest Logging’. The Petition has been presented by Mrs Shelley Hancock, and will be debated in the Legislative Assembly at 4pm on 15 September 2022.

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