15 Mar 2021 - Joanna Bodley
Forestry Corporation of NSW (Forestry Corporation) will recommence renewable timber harvesting on the South Coast and Eden this week with additional environmental safeguards in place to ensure our commitment to sustainable forest management.
Daniel Tuan, Forestry Corporation’s General Manager of Hardwood Forests, said the recommencement of harvesting would allow the timber industry on the South Coast and Eden to stay in business following the 2019-2020 bushfires and avert job losses in local communities.
Mr Tuan said Forestry Corporation worked constructively with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for the last 16 months to negotiate site-specific operating conditions for each harvesting operation in bushfire-affected coastal forests.
But no site specific operating conditions had been issued since mid last year and the industry has exhausted its log stocks and opportunities for harvesting on private property.
As a result, renewable timber harvesting on the South Coast and Eden will take place with additional environmental safeguards to further minimise any risks to fire-affected forests and supply much-needed timber to local industry. These new rules are above and beyond the existing Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (CIFOA), which prescribes protections for wildlife, soil and water and enables sustainable timber to be produced and the trees regrown..
Forestry Corporation’s operations are independently audited by the EPA to assure compliance with the CIFOA regulations.
The additional environmental safeguards put in place in recognition of the impacts of the 2019-2020 bushfires, include additional searching for plants and animals, retaining a greater number of hollow bearing trees and increasing the area of land to be excluded from harvesting.
“We believe these additional environmental safeguards provide the right balance which Forestry Corporation is required to strike between environmental considerations; the need to support the regional communities reliant on timber industry jobs; and meet its supply commitments with small family businesses and key local mills,” Mr Tuan said.
“We have put in place robust operating procedures to manage compliance with the additional safeguards and we will share the outcomes with the EPA. The EPA has also indicated that it will step up its oversight of our operations.” Mr Tuan said.
Plans are being prepared for four operations on the South Coast and Eden and these will be available on our website once approved. These initial forests include Nadgee, Mogo, Yambulla and Shallow Crossing.
“Forestry Corporation is open and transparent with the community publishing plans for all native forest operations on its website. Interested community members can subscribe to these plans and get alerted of any updates.
Operations will be conducted under this interim arrangement until the results of the review by the National Resources Commission, due later in 2021, are available. Forestry Corporation is actively participating in this review.
Timber is the most renewable building product available and on the South Coast and Eden is harvested and processed by a range of local businesses into a range of products including poles, bridge decking, floorboards, decking, fencing, landscaping timbers, pallets, and a range of other products that communities use and need, creating ongoing employment in the region.
Information about the locations of our operations is available via our Plan Portal at https://planportal.fcnsw.net/
Media contact: Joanna Bodley 0427 939 543