Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Environment Matters

Greens say time to close down native forest logging in light of changing economics

Greens Statement

The Greens have called for an immediate end to the logging of native forests in the south-west saying the economic arguments for continuing to cut down our forests are no longer valid.

Greens MLC Giz Watson said the latest research was showing we had enough plantation timber to meet the nation’s timber needs.

“This is a momentous change. There is no longer any need to log the South-West native forests that West Australians love,” Ms Watson said.

“Research is also showing us that we can make far more money by keeping our forests intact and using them for eco-tourism and sinks for carbon storage.”

Announcing the Greens (WA) ‘Future Forests’ initiative today Ms Watson said our forests were being logged to make low value products like wood-chips, railway sleepers and charcoal.

“This is a terrible waste. It seems our logging industry may not even be profitable.

“In 2010-2011, the Forest Products Commission made a $13 million loss. The FPC’s accounts are currently under consideration by the Auditor General.”

Under the Greens’ Future Forests initiative native forests would be protected from logging and plantation and farm forestry would be developed into a thriving industry.

“Science is showing us that native forests are among the best kinds of carbon store, invaluable in fighting climate change. They play a vital role in providing clean air, clean water and rainfall. Our native forests are also home to threatened species like the numbat.

“In the past, the main drivers of native forest logging were the need for timber and the need for jobs. However, there is a serious question mark over the viability of the native forest industry, and uncertainty about the sustainability of those jobs.

“In contrast, the Greens’ Future Forests policy will ensure we are producing timber and creating jobs. So often in policy we are asked to make trade offs. When it comes to the future of forestry, however, this is a clear win win.”

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