Forest Forum Letter to the Premier October 16th 2017

Dear Premier,

Prohibition on the Logging of Mogo State Forest

The Coastwatchers Association Inc. opposes the continued logging of State Forests in the Batemans Bay region of the South Coast of NSW, particularly the logging of timber, which is destined for the wood chip mill at Eden. The Association recently coordinated a ‘Moruya Forest Forum’, and the 100 community members present resolved unanimously that logging should cease immediately in this region because it was destroying the habitat of the Greater gliders and the Yellow-bellied gliders in the area. In turn this loss of habitat was destroying these Gliders. (The three resolutions of the Moruya Forest Forum of 23 August 2017 are presented in Attachment A.)
The viability of Forestry operations on the South Coast of NSW is highly questionable, given so much timber is processed into unprofitable wood chips at Eden. State Government subsidies are necessary to keep that sector of the timber industry afloat, all for the employment of a very small number of jobs.
As has already happened in Victoria, the sustainability of timber harvest in NSW has been overtaken by politics, and the NSW Government will shortly need to address the same issue as Victoria, a shortage of timber, because sustainable harvest practices have been ignored. Victoria has addressed that by nationalising the Heyfield Timber Mill. That mill cannot continue to have long-term viability as it will be financially unviable to maintain, because of the lack of timber. The financial losses will be ultimately borne by the community, and the mill will become a dead asset.
NSW faces the same bleak prospects.
But the bleak prospects are even more alarming, given that habitat is currently being wiped out, endangered and vulnerable fauna are being destroyed, and community water supplies are being adversely impacted. This is all happening at a time when Governments world-wide are encouraging habitat retention and regeneration. Even Tony Abbott supported the creation of a Green Corp to increase tree plantings to absorb green house gases such as carbon dioxide. The NSW State Government is doing exactly the reverse.

The NSW Government must look at the big picture, and allow the use of State Forests as Carbon banks. It has been estimated in Victoria that if that approach was followed, VicForests operational performance would reverse from an $80 million annual loss to a $100 million annual profit. In other words it is more profitable not to harvest State Forests than it is to continue with the current policies.
All governments need to develop long-term policies to protect the environment for future generations, rather than pursue irrational short-term policies, which result in financial loss, and loss of habitat and fauna, while accelerating climate change and global warming. At the end of your term as Premier, please don’t let this scenario be your legacy to the State of NSW, and future generations.

View the letter as a PDF: Forest Forum Letter to Premier 2017-10-16 (91KB)

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