Before being removed from office for corruption, Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell instructed the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to deal with the problem of scientists and citizens exposing illegal logging by the state government’s Forests Corporation. This ‘semi-privatised’ state government agency is allowing terrible destruction supplying multinational BORAL with more wood than even exists in NSW. A highly flawed timber supply agreement the state government is happy to renew.
The rules supposed to protect NSW forests are grouped under the Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA for short). When citizens continually exposed the flouting of these rules by the state forest agency the Premier told the EPA to ‘remake’ the rules. And despite the Auditor General of NSW warning in 2009 that NSW Forests are being cut back faster than they can regrow, the Premier instructed the EPA to remake these rules without limiting the amount of wood that would go to the multinational BORAL.
In March the EPA did the state Premier’s bidding and circulated a new policy, supposedly for community comment. This is called ‘Remake of the Coastal IFOAs’. All NSW coastal logging areas are grouped into one ‘mega’ region.
The prescriptions for how logging should be done are dispensed with and the EPA actually told the loggers present that ‘The rule book has been thrown out’. It is to be replaced by ‘best practice’ guidelines. One problem: Section 5.1 of the ‘consultation’ paper states: ‘Regulation will no longer be by prescription but by ‘protocols and guidance materials’ . But note the key phrase from section 5.1 that ‘guidance material will not be strictly enforceable’. That means no rules. And the introduction into NSW of ‘Cable Logging’
Now nothing lies between the big timber industry and whatever it wants to take out of our public forests. And it can do that anywhere, even in the most delicate and vulnerable areas, from our most remote vulnerable drainage lines, amongst the most endangered of our wildlife habitat.
North East Forest Alliance Submission about the ‘Remake of the IFOAs’
And the published articles.
Here is an opinion from South East Forest Rescue
And like I said before, with no rules it’s going to be cable logging of our steepest catchments