Home >> environment >> Proposed changes logging laws provide fuel power stations

Proposed Changes to Logging Laws to provide fuel for power stations

mpicklesWed, 05/12/2018 - 8:18am

The following information is provided by the National Parks Association regarding changes to logging laws which if passed will create a major impact on forests in our area.

1. LOGGING REGULATIONS

NSW Forestry operations operate under 20 year long Regional Forest Agreements. The original intention of this was to achieve a balance between logging and conservation. The last agreement failed to protect our forests with dreadful breaches of regulations such as those shown in our nearby Lorne State Forest on the 7.30 Report. These agreements are now due for renewal and the government has proposed changes to logging regulations that are a complete departure from these original intentions. The planned changes will allow clear felling in an intensively logged zone (including 19 state forests in the Port Macquarie/Camden Haven area alone, with more around Taree as well as further north).  The size of clear felling compartments to increase from the current 0.25 ha to up to 40 ha with 2 200 ha to be thus cleared each year! The 10 m ‘no take’ zone from centre of streams decreases to 5m. Blind Freddie can see the implications of this for stream bank and soil erosion with silting down stream, reduced channel capacity and hence increased flooding risks.

 Previously zoned reserves of old growth forests and rainforest areas are to be rezoned for logging in order to meet the shortfall in timber targets. So we sacrifice our environment for this purpose.

 

ALL THIS BECAUSE THERE IS A SHORTFALL IN TIMBER TARGETS (MAINLY DUE TO UNSUSTAINABLE PRACTICES IN THE PAST)

 Please note that stated on the Dept. of Primary Industries website is that logging/forestry currently adds a measly $184 million value to the north coast economy!

 2. THREE WOOD FIRED POWER STATIONS FOR THE NORTH COAST !

Up to 1 million tonnes of wood is proposed to be used as fuel in power stations in Buladelah, Kempsey and Grafton! Hello but we have an abundance of solar energy here! And doesn’t such technology belong in the C19th? Is it acceptable also that our precious forests are destroyed to supply the likes of woodchips to overseas countries?

 3. WILDLIFE ISSUES, THREATENED SPECIES AND THE GREATER KOALA NATIONAL PARK

For many years now, NSW conservation organisations have developed the concept of a Great Koala National park that would see the addition of 145 000 ha of state forests add to the national park system between Coffs Harbour and Kempsey. It is predicted that at current land clearing rates, koalas will be extinct on our north coast by 2050. The state government does not support the creation of the park and their proposals wills see these areas logged.

• The requirement for pre-logging surveys for most species will be scrapped. For example 326 species of threatened plants will lose their current legal protections and 32 will have their protection areas significantly reduced. Only 77 species and populations of threatened plants will retain their current protections.

 

•  Similarly, the requirement to survey before logging for most threatened animal species will also be scrapped. 23 animal species are to have their protection removed and 26 are to have their protection significantly reduced. Only 14 will retain their current species-specific protection.

 

• Most areas protected over the last 20 years because of the presence of a threatened species, will be opened up for logging. This includes all the Koala High-Use Areas that have been identified to date.

 

• There will no longer be a requirement to search for koalas prior to logging and exclude logging from the areas they are actually using. Thus areas with active koala populations will be logged. The areas of greatest logging intensity coincide with the areas the Government has identified as the best koala habitat.

 

 

The proposals state that at least 10 koala feed trees be left per hectare in high koala feeding areas and five in lesser  feeding areas. Many species are also subject to nationally listed Key Threatening Processes such as predation by foxes.

4. CLIMATE CHANGE

One of the main principles of climate change management is to maintain as much forest cover because they represent vitally important carbon storages and sinks. Burning of wood biomass in power stations adds more carbon to the atmosphere.

 Many organisations including Landcare & NPWS have been working for years now to improve the health of ecosystems in order to help them become more resilient to the effects of climate change. NPWS has worked to improve habitat connectivity so that plant and animal species can migrate as the effects of climate change increase. Keeping connectivity is vital.

 Please note: the NSW softwood plantation industry earns almost five times the value of native forestry. Also private land owners supply the timber industry.

 

 This email is compiled by NPA MNC Branch committee member (suebaker15@bigpond.com) on behalf of the branch and is an impassioned plea to all  members to take just a small amount of time to help us deluge the Premier,  Minister for the Environment and  local members  with  emails or letters urgently, within the next week if possible. If you can spare a little extra time you could also email the relevant opposition members. All the addresses are provided below. The urgency is because MPs will soon go on Xmas break and with the election scheduled for March that will be their focus when Parliament resumes. Please do not sit back and think ‘I’ll leave it to others! We need a mass of voices to be heard!

 

I believe the proposed changes to logging regulations and the rezoning of forest reserves to be the greatest threat to the north coast environment since the 1970s proposal to log our rainforests (and look what happened after that battle was won and the rainforests were declared national parks… their biological and evolutionary value were deemed to be so great that they were placed on the World Heritage List).

 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE

1. We ask  that if each of you could pass this email on to at least five other people and ask them to do the same, we could achieve fantastic results. People who live outside the north coast can contact their local member.  Please ensure you tick the box asking for a response as this the time it takes for staff to respond will really hammer home. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account please help spread the word via them as well.

 

2. A map showing the areas of proposed intensive logging. If you would like an information sheet for those of you who may want to e.g. get permission to speak to people in shopping centres or other forums please email me.

 

3. Closer to the election we will send out a list of candidates for both our local seats so that you can contact them; also we will send out information on Meet the Candidates nights so that you can publicly and directly ask candidates for their stand on the issue.

 

 WHAT TO SAY IN YOUR EMAIL OR LETTER

It doesn’t have to be long or complex!!! Just voicing your objection and a couple of simple sentences expressing why is sufficient. The main point is to let the politicians know of your disapproval.

 Your email can begin with a sentence such as… I wish to express my utmost /complete /dissatisfaction/disapproval… or I completely/totally/ condemn or I oppose…. etc.

 

Then just add your few sentences picking out the points that concern you most e.g. environmentally unsustainable, impacts on catchments/wildlife/threatened species etc.

Finish it with a demand such as that the government review/reassess the proposed changes in a manner that addresses all major environmental concerns and that the Regional Forestry Agreements not be signed until this has been done/  urge  support for  creation of the Great Koala National Park/urge the downgrading of timber production targets// that our forests not be used for energy generation and woodchopping/replacing unsustainable native forestry through a transition to greater production of plantation timbers and alternative fibres/commission a study into job creation potential of the Great Kola National Park. Ask the government to support NPAs Forests for All: The Case for Change and also call for immediate ban on logging in known koala habitats.

ADDRESSES

• Premier- go to https://www.dpc.nsw.gov.au/contact-us/contact-the-department-of-premier-..... And fill in the contact form. Postal address: GPO Box 5341 Sydney 2001

• Minister for the Environment- Gabrielle Upton – go to https://www.nsw.gov.au/your-government/ministers/minister-for-the-enviro... and complete the email form. Postal: GPO Box 5341 Sydney 2001

• Member for Port Macquarie- Leslie Williams… https://www.lesliewilliams.com.au/contact-leslie-williams and fill in the mail form. Postal: Suite 6, 27 Grant St Port Macquarie 2444

• Member for Myall Lakes - Stephen Bromhead www.stephenbromhead.com.au/contact/ or Mail to PO box 272 Tuncurry 2428

 

• Leader of the NSW ALP Michael Daley: email maroubra@parliament.nsw.gov.au

 

• Deputy Leader of the ALP and Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage Penny Sharpe email mailto:pennysharpe@parliament.nsw.gov.au

North Arm Cove Community Website: © 2012-18 North Arm Cove Residents Association inc, contributors to the site and other rights holders, as acknowledged.
In fair use of material from this site, reference northarmcove.nsw.au  For permission to republish contact admin@northarmcove.nsw.au