New South Wales Announces Renewal of All North Coast Wood Supply Agreements, Extending Native Forest Logging Until 2028

Australia’s New South Wales Agriculture Minister Dugland Saunders has announced that all North Coast Wood Supply Agreements that were to expire next year have been renewed and extended until 2028. The renewal, Mr. Saunders says, was done to provide “certainty” for the industry to “invest in their businesses.”

The extension means that logging of native hardwood in state forest will continue uninterrupted. The agreements cover the area spanning from the Mid North Coast to the Queensland border and include state forests in Dorrigo, Wauchope, Kempsey, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Taree, Wingham, Gloucester, Glenn Innes, and Casino.

Mr. Saunders added that the main terms were unchanged, meaning Forestry Corporation would continue to supply existing quantities and species to timber companies in exchange for payment. “Things are done in a very friendly way as far as the environment is concerned, there’s no wholesale logging going on in state forests, there’s selective harvesting of suitable trees in suitable areas,” he said.

“Timber and forestry are the ultimate renewable. When you selectively harvest a tree, another tree grows near where that tree was,” Saunders added. “I don’t see that there would be a problem after 2028 or into the future as we continue to respectfully manage this most renewable of all resources.”

Needless to say, there are strong opposing viewpoints, with critics arguing that the agreements are economically and environmentally untenable and in turn leave taxpayers exposed to financial risk. Critics point to the original contracts which say that State Forest are liable for “any failure to make timber available or to supply or deliver timber” unless a force majeure or “act of god” occurs, such as a natural disaster.

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Original Source:
Native forest logging to continue as NSW North Coast Wood Supply Agreements extended