OPINION: Native hardwood logging

DEAR News Of The Area,

As a friend and former workmate of Kevin Carter I have to endorse his concerns about MidCoast Council’s motion seeking to add parts of Bulga State Forest to Biriwal Bulga National Park.

Kevin and I well remember the exhaustive studies and deliberations of the late 1990’s which led to the signing of the Regional Forest Agreements which now apply to the management of all public forest land in NSW.

The agreements were drawn up to deliver three things; an expanded and permanent forest conservation estate, ecologically sustainable forest management and certainty of resource access and supply to industry.

As part of the agreements extensive areas of State Forest became unavailable for logging and were properly added to the National Park estate.

This of course led to a substantial restructure of the timber industry which had every reason to then expect guaranteed access to the greatly reduced volumes of available timber under the terms of the agreements.

Unfortunately it hasn’t happened that way.

People fiercely opposed to any logging in native forests have simply refused to accept the legitimacy of the agreements and many newcomers to the issue appear to be completely unaware of their existence at all.

Individuals and communities involved with the industry have every right to feel exasperated by continued calls for governments to now renege on the agreements which took so much detailed professional time and effort to draw up.

Provided native forest logging is being properly planned and managed the spirit and intention of the Regional Forest Agreements should be observed.

Hawks Nest.

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