The Greens have promised a new Department of Environment would focus on plantation timber and put an end to the logging of native forests.
Upper House MP David Shoebridge made the pledge this week on the Far South Coast with Bega candidate Margaret Perger.
They promised sustainable jobs through eco-tourism, and $80 million over four years to be channelled into a transition package for timber workers and communities impacted by the end of native forestry operations.
They also promised $40 million for a tourism and recreation grant scheme.
Mr Shoebridge said uncertainty surrounding the fate of much of the state’s native forests, meant it was “impossible for private investors to put money into ventures near a state forest.”
“The forestry industry has cost the government $495 for every hectare, costing millions of dollars in losses a year due to unsustainable long-term contracts that must be met,” Mr Shoebridge said.
However, Timber NSW general manager Maree McCaskill said forests were cost effective, compared to national parks.
“Last financial year, it cost the taxpayer $412 million for the National Parks and Wildlife Service to manage our national parks, reserves and state conservation areas,” Ms McCaskill said.
“This equates to a cost of $55 per hectare per year or, coincidentally, $55 per year for every person in NSW.
“It cost the taxpayer $17.6 million for the Forestry Corporation to look after our native hardwood state forests, which equates to $8.67 per hectare per year or $2.40 per year for every person in NSW.”