Positive announcements during the past week included South East Fibre Exports admitting a financial loss for the year and State Greens member David Shoebridge releasing info on FNSW’s financial loss.
SEFE head Vince Phillips suggested several reasons for the loss but didn’t mention the increased cost associated with logging what’s left, steep rocky land that generally requires kilometres of roads to be constructed and many streams to be crossed.
According to David Shoebridge “These figures prove that native forestry operations in South East NSW are driven by a damaging ideological commitment of this government to log at any cost.”
Unfortunately this ‘damaging ideological commitment’ is shared by both major parties as suggested by Harriet Swift and reported in Friday’s Bega District News. “While we welcome Labor spokesman Luke Foley’s support for the koala’s listing, it is only very recently that a state Labor government permitted logging in koala habitat in Bermagui and Mumbulla forests.”
The ideology behind FNSW’s management does have a basis as found in the paper ‘A simple model of eucalyptus dieback’. In essence it is based on the notion that the original inhabitants were out 24/7 burning forests.
An alternative can be found in a book on the history of Aboriginal management written by Bill Gammage titled ‘The biggest estate on earth-how Aboriginies made Australia’ and recently reviewed in a monthly article. This history suggests Kooris didn’t deliberately burn ‘forests’ at all and “ . . . poses a warning to those who would simply replicate traditional practice in any one place.”
Currently, formal methods are not in place to provide data on environmental changes, so the costs associated with land degradation are not considered. To change this it seems important to maintain a scientifically based ideology and the attached map shows the extent of the Murrah Soil Landscape, where koalas are found, in the bioregion.
The mostly ‘forested’ area includes contentious compartments to the south around Tathra and extends to the north of the bioregion near Ulladulla. The area does not include the most recent legal and illegal logging in Mumbulla.