South West Greens MLC Diane Evers will introduce legislation to WA Parliament this week to end native forest logging in Western Australia once and for all.
Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for forests, will table the Forest Products Amendment Bill 2020 in the Legislative Council on Thursday as part of efforts towards systemic change in the management of public forests and forest industries.
Ms Evers said she was calling on the WA Labor Government to wind up the Forests Products Commission (FPC) after two decades of total failure to manage native forests.
According to Ms Evers, reforms brought about through the Forest Products Act 2000 (WA) had failed to achieve forest goals, both for the forest industry and forest campaigners.
By removing dysfunctional legislative instruments such as the Forest Products Commission and redefining ‘forest products’, Ms Evers said the WA Labor Government could begin to reverse the damage caused to this precious public asset.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“Native forest logging for commercial gain by the Forests Products Commission must end.
“There has been total failure to manage our native forests, with the FPC unable to protect high conservation value forests, develop the plantation industry, manage the sandalwood industry, or generate profits to the state.
“Forest campaigners have been calling for significant change for many years, as it has become ever-more apparent that old trees are being logged as a result of an illogical methodology used to define old growth.
“Not only have native forest protections been lacking, but the FPC has cheated their pine sharefarmers out of an honest return.
“The FPC has also reaped profit from the sandalwood industry, while allowing native title holders minimal harvest.
“This pattern of failure and environmental destruction has occurred all while the FPC has been returning a significant overall net loss to Western Australians —There has been little or no profit from our native forest timber for some time.
“This Bill represents a step towards a better system for all, achieved through a suite of reforms to modernise management of forests and forestry.
“Native forests are a valuable and irreplaceable source of environmental, economic and social benefits and forest management must address the urgent challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“Ending native logging will deliver more to our regional communities and to Western Australia by allowing the WA Labor Government to invest in opportunities such as eco-tourism, honey and bee production, water provision, and carbon credits.
“The time has come to reform the existing system of forest management and remove the Forest Products Commission, by ending native forest logging in Western Australia.”
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070
Featured Photo: Alex Jenkins – Edith Cowan University