Western Australia (WA) has joined Victoria in banning commercial logging of native forests starting next year, The Sydney Morning Herald reported (10-1-23).
WA Forestry Minister Jackie Jarvis says in the future, timber will only be removed from the state’s native forests to maintain forest health and for approved mine site operations. “This move by the Cook government will safeguard our ionic forests for generations to come,” she said.
The government will spend $350 million (AUD) investing in the state’s softwood pine plantations to provide building materials and protect existing jobs, as well as providing another 140 new positions. Jarvis said investment would help ease the state’s housing crisis as well as prevent climate change by boosting pine forest population. “The investment in WA’s plantation estate will ensure we can continue to build houses in WA, supporting both the local construction industry and the South West Forestry industry.”
The government has already spent $80 million on the Native Forest Transition Plan that includes significant industry restructure payments.
WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby said that nearly two million hectares of native karri, jarrah, and wandoo forests will be protected for future generations. “This decision reflects the changing attitude of the community towards our native forest, building on the legacy of the Gallop Labor Government ending old-growth logging,” Whitby added.
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