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With 80 per cent of South Coast forests burnt- now is the time to end native forest logging

With 80 per cent of forests in the Eden Management Area burnt, it is time for the Government to declare force majeure on all south coast Wood Supply Agreements, according to the South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA).

The current fires have also burnt the Eden chipmill, which for 50 years has been the driver of all logging on the far south coast.

Fires have killed over a billion animals and generated hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. 

Spokesperson and Deputy Convener of SERCA, Harriett Swift said: “Right now, the forests and animals desperately need time to recover. The last thing we need now is the industry charging back in with its multi million dollar industrial machines and chainsaws.

It is simply environmental madness to think you can wave a magic wand and expect anything like ‘business as usual.’

Government is now dreaming up new ways to use the burnt trees, such as cutting them down, turning them into briquettes and exporting them for heating.

“It’s time to accept reality and acknowledge that there is not enough forest left for a viable industry and nowhere to process any logs that are produced.”

Paper manufacturers cannot accept any logs containing charcoal, so the owners are now looking for ways to make money from surviving trees which do contain charcoal.

“To convert a living tree, albeit a burnt one into briquettes for burning is madness.

“The priority right now should be to make sure that any surviving animals have access to food and water,” Ms Swift said.

“The tragic impacts of these fires in the Eden Region provide a case study in how logging increases bushfire risk.

“Scientists have been telling us for years that logging makes forests more fire prone by making them drier, more dense and of even height crowns and we are now paying the price for that.

“These catastrophic bushfires have occurred in a region which has endured 50 years of the most intensive woodchip logging in Australia’

“It’s time to stop now.”    

“It’s now time for the NSW Government to plan and fund a transition from native forest logging into sustainable industries to employ those working in the industry.” 


11 February 2020

Photo captions: 1, 2, 3, 4