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Business as usual is not an option - logging must not resume before the fires are even out

The South East Region Conservations Alliance (SERCA) is demanding that the Forestry Corporation cease all logging of native forests in response to the current catastrophic fires.

“A resumption of logging before the fires are even out and before we have reliable information on exactly how much of the forest available for logging has been burned would be totally unacceptable,” according to spokesperson Harriett Swift.

“It is obvious from bushfire maps that a major part of the State Forests available for logging lies within the fire zones of Currawon, Clyde Mountain, Palerang, Badja/ Mumbulla, Snowy, Border, Rockton and other fires.”

“These fires have killed millions of wild creatures and left countless others injured, facing starvation or predation by feral predators.”

“Any remaining forest habitat, regardless of tenure, will be absolutely critical to the survival of forest dwelling wildlife, now and for decades to come,” Ms Swift said.

“The Forestry Corporation should be organising food drops and ongoing monitoring for the surviving animals, not the next round of logging.

“It is time that Australia put a higher value on our precious wildlife than a pile of woodchips, destined to become carbon dioxide within just a few years.

“What will the world think of us if our response to these fires includes generous taxpayer handouts to prop up the economically marginal logging industry and possibly even greater access to the forests?”

Ms Swift said that even before the fires, many forests and their wildlife were already struggling after 3 years of drought.

“The Government ignored calls at the end of 2019 for a moratorium on native forest logging, but it’s not too late.”

“The recent fires now make it imperative to rethink how we value and treat these forests.”

“Mature forests can change local weather patterns, bring rain, protect soil from erosion and make the country less fire prone as well as ensuring survival of the wildlife Australians and international tourists love.

“This industry has already lost any social licence it once had and these fires will have pushed many species to being threatened or possibly the brink of extinction, and this must also be taken into account in making a responsible decision.”


22 January 2020

Photos: photo 1  photo 2 Devastation like this in the Wadbilliga Wilderness is typical of many forests burned in the January fires. Photo credit - Natalie Ashkenazi