A letter to NSW Opposition Leader, Luke Foley, from Timber Communities Australia (TCA), has reflected the dismay of the NSW north coast timber communities at the announcement of a new mega-style national park for koala protection. Source: Timberbiz
“TCA wrote to Mr Foley and will write to all candidates in the affected region in the upcoming election to remind them it’s perfectly possible to manage forests in a sustainable way and protect native animal habitat at the same time,” said TCA spokesman Trevor Sargeant.
Under tight regulations timber harvesting in NSW is excluded from areas where koalas are living.
The timber industry has a Koala Code of Practice that TCA supports which ensures a comprehensive approach for the effective management of koalas and their habitat.
People who live and work in communities like Wauchope, Kyogle and Grafton enjoy and want healthy koala communities.
They also want strong and sustainable communities where people have jobs.
“People in regions need access to an honest means to earn their living with jobs in a sustainable industry like timber. This is a basic human right and it is hoped Mr Foley will realise the policy goes too far. It needs to be revisited, “said Mr Sargeant.
The surprise announcement came when the need for sustainable natural materials has never been greater and it will only rise in future decades.
“Forest industry policies can be win-win with environmental and other positive outcomes. It doesn’t always have to be one or the other,” he said.
The triple bottom line of good environment, economic and social/community outcomes is too often portrayed as a tug of war between environment and economic outcomes.
“People are tired of oversimplification. It is entirely possible to have positive social and environmental and economic outcomes under truly sustainable policies,” said Mr Sargeant.
“It’s time for a change in the debate away from the tired old mantra of “forest wars” to genuine acceptance of the triple bottom line.
“There is a great deal of wisdom in these regional communities and it is most concerning when these commonsense voices are overlooked.”