Letter to the Editor: Human beings should be the priority

DEAR News Of The Area,

NED Cowie’s article, ‘EPA decision sends shockwaves through forestry industry’ (NOTA 7/6/2024) rightly points out the angst felt by the sawmilling industry and associated businesses.

This latest decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many of the state’s sawmills, who are already struggling to survive.

These recent EPA regulations, added to world’s best practise protections already enforced, and coupled with the creation of new National Parks and reserves, means the area of State Forest to harvest is getting smaller whilst the demand for native timbers for flooring, furniture, electricity poles, wharf and mining timbers, remains.

Construction costs will rise as mills run low on timber.

When a 25-metre exclusion zone is implemented, around trees “known to be used by Greater Gliders, where dens have not necessarily been identified but are likely to be present” (NSW EPA), it greatly reduces the area of the allocated forest compartment to be harvested, especially when other trees are already excluded from harvesting.

This seems to be yet another targeted attack on harvesting operations and the state’s forests, by the Greens who want to shut down native timber harvesting in NSW, as in Western Australia and Victoria.

I appreciate the need for conservation, but the priority should be the survival of fellow human beings, their families and livelihoods, and dependent regional communities.

Surely, a common-sense sustainable solution can be reached between the NSW government and the timber industry, to create a win-win scenario!

Coffs Harbour.

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