Western Australia (WA) Premier Mark McGowan has announced an effort to preserve an estimated two million hectares of vegetation by banning logging of native forest in WA starting at the end of 2023. The changes will be contained in a new Forest Management Plan, due for release shortly, that from 2024 will ban the removal of timber from native forests besides for “limited forest management activities that improve forest health and clearing for approved mining operations”. That will result in the protection of around 400,000 hectares of karri, jarrah and wandoo forests — and a total 2 million hectares of native forest.
In a statement, Mr. McGowan said that “This is a historic moment for the protection of our magnificent forests and the creation of sustainable WA jobs.” McGowan added, “By transitioning more of the forestry industry to sustainable timber products like softwood, we are investing in WA’s future — supporting the construction and forestry industries, and our regional communities.”
To offset the loss of approximately 400 timber industry jobs, the Premier announced a $50 million “Just Transition Plan” to help those workers into new employment. The State Budget will also include $350 million over the next decade which will be invested in the creation of new softwood plantations across the Southwest.
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Logging of native forests to be banned in WA from the end of 2023