Submission to Inquiry into the Provisions of the Forestry
Legislation Amendment Bill.
Legislative Council Standing Committee on State Development
- This Bill, along with current
processes in train to renew Regional Forest Agreements and
Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) governing
native forest logging in NSW are based on a delusion that native
forest woodchipping and environmental protection are compatible.
- They are simply clearing the
legal decks for the industry to go for broke while there are
still some trees remaining.
- For decades the far south coast
region has endured of the most intensive logging in the state to
supply the Eden chipmill. The Government should stop deluding
itself and the public that our forests are a magic pudding that
can keep on producing woodchips indefinitely and pretend that
environmental values are being protected.
- There must be a clear and
workable plan within any new legal framework to manage the
closure of the woodchipping industry. Woodchippers must not
simply walk away from the environmental destruction they have
caused or their obligations to workers, as mining companies have
done in the past.
- Some obvious measures would
include, but not be limited to:
- a. A remediation bond
payable by the owners of the Eden woodchip mill to cover costs
of restoring the chipmill site for other purposes once the
- b. A levy on the Forestry
Corporation per hectare logged to provide for the restoration of
native forests logged between now and the closure of the native
- c. A water quality levy
imposed on all logging operations undertaken in estuary
catchments such as Wonboyn and river catchments.
- d. A road maintenance fee to
ensure that roads used by log trucks cease to be a financial
burden on other road users, councils and taxpayers until logging
- e. A retraining fund payable
by industry employers to entitle all workers currently employed
in the logging industry to a retraining package to acquire new
- f. A fire control levy
payable by the industry to the Rural Fire Service per hectare
logged, in recognition of the fact that dense regrowth forests
are more fire prone than mature unlogged forests.
- g. Twofold Bay seabed damage
prevention and remediation levy on woodchip carriers using
loading facilities at the chipmill, in compensation for
degradation of habitat of species such as the weedy sea dragon
and green sea turtle by woodchip carriers.
- h. If the RFAs are renewed,
Wood Supply Agreements should be for realistic timeframes (no
more than 5 years), should not contain 'take or pay' clauses and
not carry unwarranted penalties for any early cessation of
access to wood supply.