Media statement, Thursday, 21 November 2013.
“The Environment Minister will reign over a new era of forest destruction,” Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said today.
A new logging plan has been approved today by the WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob MLA, a plan that sees a doubling of Jarrah and Karri forest being logged.
“This lack of regulatory control over logging, this open-slather on forests, allows the destruction of 2,000 square kilometres of native forest over the 10 years of the plan,” Ms MacLaren said.
“Fifty-six appeals on the Forest Management Plan, from the public, conservation groups, and one from myself, have all been rejected by the Environment Minister.
“The Forest Management Plan will be implemented at the discretion of the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Forest Products Commission.
“Unfortunately, the reputation of DPaW with regards to forests is compromised, as environmental protection measures in the current plan have not been implemented, even as its time expires.
“Goals for the understory diversity were supposed to finalised by December 2005, now eight years overdue. Today the Environment Minister added another two and half years to this deadline.
“The reputation of the Forest Products Commission is damaged.
“Last week the Auditor General’s report to Parliament highlighted a question I asked of the Minister for Forestry regarding contracts of sale. In the opinion of the Auditor General, the Minister’s decision to not answer these questions was not reasonable and not appropriate.
“The Minister for the Environment won’t protect the biodiversity of the forests. The Minister for Forestry won’t answer reasonable questions in Parliament on the sale of forest products. The Department of Parks and Wildlife has not been able to meet basic environmental protections in the Forest Management Plan of the past ten years.
“As rainfall levels continue to drop in the south west, the expansion of logging allowed by the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 puts our native wildlife under extraordinary pressure that it may never recover from.
“The government should instead have a plan to transition from logging native forests to sustainable plantations,” Ms MacLaren said.