RELATED CONTENT: Letters to the editor
Conservationists last week gathered in Narooma to protest what they say are vastly weaker native forest logging laws.
Protesters at an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) consultation on Thursday, June 7, described the event as “farcical”, but the EPA says it is keen to hear all points of view.
Deputy Convener of the South East Region Conservation Alliance Harriett Swift said the “outcome is a forgone conclusion”.
“In a few weeks’ time the current appalling draft will become law, regardless of anything that anyone says in Narooma today,” she said.
“Governments should stop deluding themselves and the public that our forests are a magic pudding that can keep on producing woodchips indefinitely.”
“It is simply impossible to reconcile logging at current or greater intensities with meaningful environmental protection.”
“The new laws will simply clear the legal decks for the industry to go for broke while there are still some trees remaining.
Ms Swift says that NSW and federal Governments should now be looking urgently for fair and responsible ways to wind up the industry.
“For decades the South Coast region has endured the most intensive logging in the state to supply the Eden chipmill.
“Logging in our region will remain the worst in the state. Other regions will catch up a little, but ours will still be the winner in the race to the bottom.”
An EPA spokeswoman said: “The NSW Government places a high value on community consultation and is actively seeking feedback to inform the finalisation of the Coastal IFOA. The consultation closes on 29 June, when the NSW Government will analyse submissions, prepare a report and finalise negotiations on the IFOA. The Minister for Environment and the Minister for Lands and Forestry will determine the final IFOA later this year.The IFOA comprises of two documents - the conditions and the protocols. The protocols will allow the EPA to respond and adapt to emerging issues, new information or best practices.We encourage the community to have their say on the draft IFOA via https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/forests.”