Illegal logging and politics, setting the balance

If one were searching for an example of political support for unsustainable logging, it would be difficult to ignore the Tasmanian Liberal government. The passing of its forest bill gives the industry another 400,000 ha, including rain-forest, that otherwise would have been protected from logging. While this is a sad outcome, the dumb part is what hasn’t been considered, among other things, forest certification.

Back in NSW, and no doubt feeling some heat, the government has put off releasing it’s new draft coastal IFOA for public consultation, until later in the year.

In the interim we can now say, with some certainty, that Forestry Corporation NSW has been breaching its Threatened Species Licence conditions since at least 2010, when it approved illegal logging in Biamanga Aboriginal Place. We can also say (thankyou Tony), that since the federal Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 came into force, and including Glenbog State Forest, FCSW have potentially logged rainforest in at least 22 compartments in Eden, and another 24 in the Southern region.

Consequently, and in addition to whatever the EPA is doing, a illegal logging complaint has been lodged with the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).

The other aspect is FCNSW’s certification, under the Australian Forestry Standard. The process for initiating a complaint requires first writing the FCSW, details below, and waiting for a response.

According to the Tasmanian Resources Minister Paul Harriss “For the first time in our state’s history the Green tide is being turned and the balance is being reset,”

All very well, if resetting the balance gets past the process, and next week should bring some regionally relevant news on that front.


tree root

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to complain about possible inaccuracies in Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) Harvesting Plans for the Southern and Eden regions. The terms of licence under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, indicate FCNSW “ . . . .must include written justification in the harvesting plan where the extent of the rainforest shown on the harvesting plan operational map differs from the extent of the KB rainforest floristic assemblages.”

In examining FCNSW Harvesting Plans I have encountered numerous instances in which the use of unverified ‘Forest Types’ – as opposed to the legally required rainforest mapping – has occurred with no accompanying written justification.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been notified and an environmental incident report (Reference Number: C12123-2014), has been created for compartments 2301, 2311, and 2321currently being harvested in Glenbog State Forest, where rainforest was not properly identified in the Harvesting Plan. This issue has also been noted in Harvesting Plans dating back to at least 2010 (Harvesting Plan for compartments 2133, 2135, Mumbulla State Forest).

According to monthly reports, Harvesting Plans for potentially up to 24 compartments in Southern and 22 compartments in Eden have not complied with the Threatened Species Conservation Act, and have been harvested since the introduction of the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012.

There are concerns that this inability to adequately define the Net Harvest Area, coupled with the failure to comply with the Regional Forest Agreements (Part 3, Clause 95.6), has greatly diminished the ability of FCNSW to produce accurate sustainable yield estimates.

What actions will FCNSW be implementing to ensure its legal requirements are being met, and what alternative methods will be employed to ensure processes for identifying different forest types, and any changes to them, are being consistently applied?


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