Forestry Council Chair must reject national park logging

Friends of the Earth has urged Federal Forest Industry Advisory Council Chair Rob de Fegely to reject calls for logging in national parks, as he tours red gum forests in the NSW Riverina this week.

 

Media Release: 11th December 2014

Abbot’s Forestry Council chair must reject ‘Age of entitlement’ for red gum loggers

Conservationists have urged Federal Forest Industry Advisory Council Chair Rob de Fegely to reject calls for logging in national parks, as he tours red gum forests in the NSW Riverina this week.

Despite Victoria withdrawing support for a controversial logging trial in the Barmah-Millewa forest this October, there have been ongoing calls for logging trials and full-scale commercial logging in national parks along the Murray River.

‘Proposals to throw open our iconic river red gum national parks for logging are environmentally destructive, politically divisive and economically irresponsible,’ said Friends of the Earth Community Campaigner, Will Mooney.  

‘Over $90 million was paid out to the logging industry in 2010-12 to fund a transition out of logging in Australia’s last great red gum forests. Allowing the logging industry back into these areas represents a blatant waste of taxpayer’s money,’ Mr Mooney said.

‘We are pleased to note Mr de Fegely’s strong public support for the role of national parks and the need for adequate funding to secure their values.'

‘The river red gum national parks of the Riverina are a crucial piece of natural infrastructure in a highly modified landscape. These Ramsar-listed wetland forests provide vital habitat for over 250 species of birds, native fish and reptiles including the threatened Superb Parrot, migratory birds and native fish. Logging trials proposed by the NSW government will damage these natural values and increase the risk of bush fire.’

‘Our national parks need funding, not logging. We urge Mr de Fegely to stand by his support for national parks and resist perverse calls for logging in these important areas.’

‘The Australian forestry sector should be moving towards a smarter, sustainable approach, not turning back the clock to allow destructive logging of Australia’s last great red gum forests.’

‘As the Abbot Government’s failed attempt to de-list parts of the Tasmanian World Heritage Area demonstrated, State and Federal governments risk public condemnation and international embarrassment if they seek to overturn protection of Australia’s iconic forests and wetlands,’ Mr Mooney said. 

Contact: Will Mooney (0404 163 700)