South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has celebrated news that 2020 will be the first year since logging began in Western Australia that no karri forests will fall on public land, but has urged vigilance on how to proceed with forest protection into the future.
Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for forestry, was encouraged to see progress has been made after three years of public and private campaigning during her term as member for the South West Region to see WA native forests protected.
However, she remained concerned by the Forest Products Commission’s advice that native timber volumes will be maintained without harvesting two-tier karri areas.
Ms Evers said the ability for FPC to continue meeting these targets under the current Forest Management Plan (FMP) demonstrated that more needs to be done by the McGowan Government to protect mature native forests from logging and she has plans to introduce a Bill to WA Parliament seeking to repeal the Forest Products Act.
Ms Evers reiterated the need to disband the Forest Products Commission as part of these measures, citing the serious detriment to the forest alongside consistent financial losses of the commission.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“I’m encouraged to see change in the native forest industry and greater protection of native forests, even if this is only a short-term measure.
“The question remains as to how the FPC intends to maintain its logging volumes despite excluding two-tiered karri from this year’s harvest plan.
“I would like assurances that mature trees in the region’s jarrah forests will also be protected.
“After decades of clearing, over-cutting and general mismanagement, many of our native forest and woodland ecosystems have been left fragmented, degraded and in need of protection and restoration.
“It is imperative the Forest Products Act must be repealed and the Forest Products Commission disbanded — I will not be satisfied until commercial logging of WA’s native forests is finished.
“This is in part caused through the existence of a regulatory body tasked with both making a buck and managing the environment.
“There is no mandate or reason to log native forests and McGowan Government has a responsibility to ensure the native forest industry — making up less than a quarter of the entire sector— is transitioned to a sustainable plantation model that protects the environment as well as employment in the region.
“This halt on logging of mature karri forests in the South West Region is a culmination of years of tireless work from The Greens (WA) members and forest protection campaigners, and I give full credit an entire community who have given their immeasurable time and effort.”
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070