Almost 40% of NSW native forests and bushland has been removed since European settlement, with only 9% of remaining vegetation in close-to-natural condition. State forests are being degraded by overlogging and as a consequence our remaining intact native forests on private lands are being targeted by commercial logging interests.
We cannot afford to lose any more of our native forests that provide a natural refuge for animal and plant biodiversity, with 60% of the remaining koala population living in native forests on private land.
It is estimated that plantation timbers such as pine provide more than 80% of commercial logs, with continued growth in this industry as more plantations reach maturity. There is no justification to destroy our remaining native forests.
- We will introduce a complete ban on the logging of native forests including state and private forests.
- A $50m fund will be established to compensate private landholders for any economic loss where they had entered into native forest logging contracts with the NSW Forestry Corporation.
- A ‘Landholder Guardianship of Native Forests’ scheme will be established. Landholders will be able to apply for Native Forest Guardianship payments where their land has been assessed to be of significant environmental value with regard to biodiversity or the presence of endangered species such as the koala. Payments will be calculated on the basis of the monetary value of commercial logging contract rates.