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- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Media Release_ Oakeshott move bolsters unsustainable logging

 March 7, 2012

Forty-seven environment and community advocacy groups have signed on to a letter to Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott, requesting that he withdraw his support for native forest 'waste' to be burnt in power stations and counted as renewable energy.

The signatories  include national organisations such as GetUp, The Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, interstate groups such as the West Australian Forest Alliance, Environment Victoria, Climate Action Hobart, and numerous NSW groups including several based in northern NSW such as the North Coast Environment Council, Friends of the Koala, and the North East Forest Alliance.

“Between us we represent many hundreds of thousands of Australians who have an active interest in both forests and climate change,” said Paul Oosting of GetUp. “Most Australians want to see more forest protected not more ways of destroying it” he said.

Susie Russell, President of the North Coast Environment Council, who lives in Mr Oakeshott's electorate said “Forest mis-management in NSW, continues to create problems for the Government, communities and the environment. Forests NSW once again made a loss of $14.6 m last year. They have been exposed by numerous community investigations as breaching their Code of Practice.  Justice RA Pepper of the NSW Land and Environment Court, recently stated that "the Forestry Commission's conduct manifests a reckless attitude towards compliance with its environmental obligations"1. She also stated that "In my view, the number of convictions suggests either a pattern of continuing disobedience in respect of environmental laws generally or, at the very least, a cavalier attitude to compliance with such laws".”

“Mr Oakeshott needs to understand that Australian forestry is not ecologically sustainable. It is actively destroying biodiversity, carbon banks, water catchments and regional communities. It continues to be a source of conflict around the country as people everywhere take action to protect the best of what's left.” said Warrick Jordan, Forest Campaigner for The Wilderness Society.

“The so-called 'waste' going into the sawmills Mr Oakeshott wants to make more profitable, comes from the habitat of species that are on the brink, such as Leadbeater's possum in Victoria, the numbat in WA, the Tassie devil and in his own electorate, the koala,” he said.

“The signatories to this letter ask Mr Oakeshott to visit the oldgrowth karri forest clearfells in WA,  He could visit Miranda Gibson who in trying to protect oldgrowth forest in Tasmania has now spent 83 days living on a platform suspended high in the canopy, and tell her that 'there is no difference between plantations and native forest waste'. He could spend an hour or two outside the Eden woodchip mill and see the dozens of trucks taking whole trees to be chipped.

“His actions affect all of these. He can make forest destruction more profitable, or he can be an advocate for genuine ecological sustainability and responsible forest management. He can't do both,” Mr Jordan said.

For comment:
GetUp, Paul Oosting: 0409 963 734

The Wilderness Society, Warrick Jordan: 0451 633 197

North Coast Environment Council, Susie Russell: 0265 504 481

A copy of the letter can be found at:


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