Statement for Media
It’s Official: Fourteen Years of Forest Failure
The State Government is rewriting rules for native forest logging because it admits the present rules have failed.
In a Discussion Paper: “Remake of the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval”, the government admits it has no idea whether the current rules have protected wildlife and acknowledges that its rules have not even been enforceable. (See attachment)
“Few, if any surveys were ever done after logging to see whether birds and animals survived because nobody in the government wanted to know,” according to forest campaigner and convenor of the Chipstop Campaign, Harriett Swift.
“While the justification given in the Discussion Paper for changing the rules is to make them more effective, I have no doubt that the real reason is to save money and make logging cheaper,” Ms Swift said.
“After admitting to 14 years of abject failure, the government now expects us to believe that it can do a better job, while saving money and getting the same amount of wood out of the forests.”
“Those objectives simply cannot be delivered, especially here on the far south coast where we already have the most intensive woodchip logging in the state.”
“We have been put on notice to expect vague new rules that won’t require loggers to even look before they log in most cases.”
“Decades of intensive logging have already taken their toll on this region’s forests, but over the coming years the Forestry Corporation will have to log twice the area just to maintain the same amount of timber going, overwhelmingly, to the woodchipper. That’s on its own figures.”
“The public will not be fooled by this,” she said. “We didn’t come down in the last shower.”
“The likely new rules cannot work and I don’t believe they are meant to. “
“It is about time that the government recognised that there are no rules that can make native forest woodchipping sustainable,” Ms Swift said.
30 March 2014
Chipstop submission on the IFOA Remake 2014
IFOA ‘Remake’ Discussion Paper
Admissions of Failure: Quotes
- “monitoring and enforcing compliance with the coastal IFOAs has shown they do not achieve their original purpose. The IFOAs are difficult to understand and implement and the lack of clarity and enforceability of IFOA conditions makes regulation difficult.” (p.5)
- “ the structure of the current coastal IFOAs is neither efficient nor effective.“(p.11)
- “The existing IFOAs include many conditions that are unenforceable in practice..” (p.13)
- “procedure-based, administrative conditions with little or no impact on environmental outcomes” (p.15)
- “The current requirements are unenforceable” (Silvicultural practices, including thinning) (p.18)
- On regeneration, “The current requirements are unenforceable” (p18)
- On forest products operations, “the EPA has had no regulatory focus on forest products operations over the past five years” (p.18)
- On grazing, “the EPA has had no regulatory focus on grazing over the past five years and the same for weed and pest control and beekeeping.” (p.19). In other words for 6 out of 10 listed activities, the rules are either unenforceable or there has been no regulatory interest.
- “The TSL component of the current coastal IFOAs is difficult to interpret, implement and enforce. Each TSL is over 100 pages long, is not integrated with the conditions of the EPL and the FL and in many cases, licence conditions focus on process not outcomes” (p.20)
- “These conditions give the impression that the species are ‘protected’ under the licence. However, the species protection zones are only triggered if a nest, den or roost is actually located.” (p.21)
- “highly inefficient.” (p.22)
- “…ambiguous language that makes them difficult to enforce.” (p.29)
- “The NSW Government recognises that the monitoring required under the current coastal IFOAs does not adequately allow for the evaluation of the effectiveness of IFOA and licence conditions in achieving their intended outcomes.” (p.38)