Letter to the editor, Bega District News

50 years of woodchipping have made the region's forests more fire prone

Michael Britten (“The challenge of fire” BDN 14/2/20) laments that a lack of “financial common sense” in “land management”  has increased fire hazard.

If we had “financial common sense” in “land management” we would not have native forest logging. It is economically marginal, usually makes losses for NSW taxpayers, bludges off local government rate payers with rate exemptions. It damages local roads, waterways (just ask the oyster industry) and destroys top soils. That’s before we even start counting the environmental damage to wildlife and the climate.

It would not exist today without generous taxpayer subsidies. And of course, 50 years of intensive woodchip logging have made this region’s forests drier, of even height and denser and consequently more fire prone. It is anything but common sense.

Harriett Swift

15 February 2020