Government Must Stand Firm On Red Gum

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7th December 2009, 12:18pm - Views: 682


Environment groups have slammed efforts by the National Party and the logging industry to reverse the new Red Gum National Parks and reserves announced on Thursday. The groups have urged the NSW Government to stand firm on a good decision

"The $48M restructuring fund provided as part of the decision is a lifeline to a logging industry that faces a terminal decline. It has cut-out the Red Gum using patch-clearfelling and lack of flooding has brought timber growth to a stand still," said Bev Smiles, Acting Executive Officer, National Parks Association.

"The decision last week to protect large areas of significant Red Gum forests in new reserves is a major environmental outcome that has the support of many people across the State."

Areas recommended for protection were based on a thorough scientific assessment by the Natural Resources Commission.

"The decision made last week is about creating new opportunities for employment and it will bail out an industry that is otherwise in terminal decline and logging jobs that are going to be lost anyway.

"The decision will provide jobs in National Parks, tourism, and in new, sustainable enterprises.

"Logging of River Red Gum is clearly unsustainable. Even if there were no new reserves, timber mills will start closing soon because the trees have been cut much faster than they can grow back. Most of the wood produced is going to Victoria as firewood. It is a terrible waste of scarce resource.

"The NSW Government must stand firm on principle and implement this decision in full. To do otherwise is to knowingly condemn River Red Gum to destruction and it would forever tarnish the environmental credentials of this Government."

Bev Smiles
0428 817 282,

Carmel Flint

SOURCE: National Parks Association of NSW

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