Landmark report shows need to modernise logging industry
In light of a landmark report by the NSW National Parks Association on the failure of the Regional Forests Agreements, the Australian Greens say the time has come to transition the logging industry out of native forests, to 100% plantation-based wood products.
“Regional Forest Agreements were meant to bring the forestry industry into the new century, but this report shows that native forest logging industry is operating like it did in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” said the Australian Greens spokesperson for forests Senator Janet Rice.
“The past two decades have seen massive changes in our forest ecosystems, our climate and how we produce wood products.
A critical part of the agreements – which are due to expire across the country from next year - is that they exempt the native forest logging industry from our national environment and conservation laws.
“The native forest logging industry has had 20 years under the management of Regional Forest Agreements to protect wildlife and protect jobs but they have failed on both counts,” said Senator Rice.
“Communities across the country are facing the destruction of their backyards through logging, increased risk of bushfires and dwindling populations of forest wildlife.
“The government must scrap these agreements so we can complete the shift of our wood products industries out of native forests into plantations, securing jobs in doing so .
“In Victoria, our precious Mountain Ash forests, which are home to the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possums, are currently being logged to produce Reflex paper. This must stop. These forests must be protected in the Great Forest National Park.
“85 per cent of the wood products that come from Australia are already sourced from plantations. Let’s get on with increasing this to 100 per cent.”
The Australian Greens industry spokesperson Adam Bandt agrees that we don’t have to make the choice between protecting our precious places and creating jobs in the new economy.
“Australia is perfectly capable of protecting our native forests and making paper that creates Australian jobs,” said Mr Bandt, Member for Melbourne.
“A modern 21st century economy involves protecting both our forests and Australian jobs by ensuring Australian made paper is made using wood from plantations and recycled paper."
Senator Rice – Sam Drummond 0400 352 935
Adam Bandt MP – Adam Pulford 0429 109 054