As reported in the BDN last week, little known Penny Sharpe, NSW shadow minister for the environment visited the Bega Shire. She came to discuss two issues, koalas and plastic bags.
According to Ms Sharpe ‘logging plantations instead of native forests and banning single use plastic bags, are two ways to improve the south coast”.
Ms Sharpe’s next idea was a bit contradictory suggesting ‘there needed to be less logging of native forests’, as opposed to none. She went on to suggest ‘effort needed to be put to find out how many koalas were left in the wild’ and she would seek a commitment from the government to save koalas.
I understand SERCA were the source of information for Ms Sharpe, so die-back wasn’t referred to. Rather, she spoke of forests as carbon sinks, suggesting logging policy should take this into account.(?!)
Interestingly, the shadow minister finished the article saying Labor does not support biomass being used as a fuel. ” . . . In my view it is not a renewable energy source and it should not be used as one,” she said.
If the reference to a renewable resource refers to eucalyptus forests, it is difficult to see how this sits with ‘less logging’. Should more logging be allowed, we can be certain that previously logged areas, like the location above, won’t be on the list. In this case the area was logged in 1981, after the fire that wiped out the ‘Timber Stand Improvement’ regrowth in Mumbulla SF.
As a result of the fire, ignited from a large bark dump some months after it was lit, the practise of spreading logging debris was implemented. The bark dump in the photo was created immediately after a ‘back-burn’ intended to stop the fire. Hence, like the remains of trees that were illegally logged on private land at the same time, it remains unburned, 35 years on.
The major problem for the government is its support for unsustainable management, in the deluded belief that logging and burning are consistent with saving koalas. Hence my brief submission on the Save our Species proposals includes the following suggestion.
” . . .If the ‘Save our Species’ program is to have any credibility with regard to koalas, the NSW government needs to put itself solidly behind the ‘National Forest Policy Statement’, the OE&H needs to eliminate the bias in its approach and the Forestry Corporation has to be removed from native forest management.”