According to the North East Forest Alliance:
The forest management regimes along the entire eastern seaboard of NSW are currently up for review – in the form of five-year reviews of Forest Agreements and Approvals signed almost a decade ago.
This is an opportunity for major improvements in forest conservation, which are desperately needed in the context of a rapidly warming climate – but the NSW Government seems intent on ticking a box and continuing with business as usual.
The Government is almost five years late in undertaking these reviews, and legally required annual reports for the Agreements and Approvals have not been published since 2002. Numerous key conservation milestones have never been met.
- There have been no annual reports submitted on NSW Forest Agreements since 2002 despite a legal requirement to do so.
- The five-year review was legally required for the UNE, LNE and Eden forest Agreements in 2004 and is only now being commenced.
- The eight-year review of timber volumes required by the UNE and LNE Forest Agreements in 2006 was not conducted, and new long-term (20 year) wood supply contracts were signed without a review of volumes.
- There have been no threatened species prosecutions of Forests NSW by DECC for five years, despite numerous legitimate complaints by the community.
- There have been massive shortfalls and time delays in meeting the requirements of the National Forest Policy Statement.
- The Government has failed to meet many of the key milestones and targets set down in the NSW Forest Agreements.
- There is a clear bias in those milestones that have been achieved towards the interests of the timber industry and against conservation interests.
- Key conservation outcomes required by the Agreements have not been met – including proper protection of high conservation value Crown lands and assessment of the World Heritage potential of our northern and southern eucalypt forests.
- The Forestry and National Park Estate Act 1998 has a requirement for a five year review which has not occurred.
- Numerous key elements of the Commonwealth-State Regional Forest Agreements for NSW have also not been met, including the five-year review, the annual reports and other important provisions (including a timber review and world heritage assessment).
- The review of the FAs and IFOAs will be a case of the Ministers reviewing their own failings and shortcomings. An independent review is required.
If you wish to make a submission before 19 December 2008 on the five-year reviews or individual forestry agreements in your area, contact Camel Flint for more information at:
North East Forest Alliance
16 Roslyn Ave
Ph 0267 724904
Mo 0400 521474