Rally rejects Regional Forest Agreement. Supports Koala Park

Press Release – 6 February 2018

 

Local environment groups, the Bellingen Environment Centre and the Nambucca Conservation Association,  and the members of community gathered on Wednesday 7th March  outside the Coffs Harbour CEX club to protest  the proposed extension of Regional Forest Agreements (RFA’s) for a further twenty years.

“The State and Federal coalition governments are planning to commit 20 more years of unsustainable logging in our native forests through extending the agreements ” said Ashley Love from the Bellingen Environment Centre.

“The past 20 years of unsustainable logging have caused serious degradation  the forests, threatened native forest fauna such as the koala, there’s increased soil erosion, decreased water supply from catchments and lost opportunities for carbon storage to help climate change,” he said.

“On top of this the governments want to make the new RFAs indefinite with rollovers going on forever after “tick the box” 5 yearly desktop reviews. It would even bind future governments to the same unsustainable forest management and deny them the ability to introduce are yet to complete the required and long overdue 10 and 15 year reviews of the current RFAs, before the new logging rules have been decided and without releasing its report on available timber,” said Mr Love.

“The RFAs exempt the logging industry from both state and federal environmental laws – that means they are above the law and can destroy our forests and we can’t legally do a thing about it.  Northeast NSW still does not have a comprehensive, adequate or representative reserve system to provide adequate habitat for our threatened species to survive into the future, as was promised back in 1992 and there is no indication that this will be remedied,” said Paula Flack, President of the Nambucca Valley Conservation Assoc.

“ NSW currently sources 86% of its timber from plantations. It is time the governments planned a strategic transition from native forests to plantations to supply NSW timber needs through the establishment of new plantations on already cleared land.  Our native forests are being degraded from years of intense and clearfell logging,” she said.

“We want to bring this RFA debacle to the attention of the public before their public native forests are signed away and are urging people to make a submission through the Department of Primary Industries website by March 12th.  They can also visit nefa.org.au for more information.”

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