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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Public paying to destroy South East NSW native forests

Media Release - 1 May 2012

Figures secured by the Greens reveal that Forests NSW made a loss of more than $750,000 last year from operations in NSW's Southern Region native forests.

Questions asked in NSW Parliament by Greens NSW Forestry spokesperson David Shoebridge to Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson revealed that while the operating costs for Forests NSW in the Southern Region native forests were $22,106,200, the total revenue earned was $21,341,600, a shortfall of $764,600.

"Forests NSW are clearly an economic basket case, unable to manage our native forests in a way that is either environmentally or economically sustainable," Mr Shoebridge said.

"These latest figures reveal that last year NSW taxpayers paid more than $750,000 to destroy the biodiversity and natural beauty of our native forests in South East NSW.

"This comes on top of the $500,000 the government paid to Boral in 2006 for Forests NSW's failure to meet contracted amounts of wood supply.

"Boral and the government are currently in closed doors negotiations to come to another financial settlement following continued inability of Forests NSW to supply contracted amounts of timber.

"It is just astounding that we see NSW taxpayers having to put their hands in their pockets to clear-fell our state forests.

"These figures prove that native forestry operations in South East NSW are driven by a damaging ideological commitment of this government to log at any cost.

"If the state government is looking for ways to balance a tight budget in 2012, it should first look to stopping native forest logging in the South East.

"The O'Farrell government needs to hold Forests NSW to account for these significant financial losses and the ongoing mismanagement of our native forests," Mr Shoebridge said.

More information: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

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