Andrew Constance: Stop logging the fire-ravaged South Coast

Dear Andrew Constance, Member for Bega,

As a local constituent, I am writing to you to ask you to call on the Minister for Industry and Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) to stop the logging of public native forests on the South Coast.

The NSW South Coast was scorched during the Black Summer bushfires. It was one of the hardest hit areas in the state, with 80% of bushland burnt in the Shoalhaven LGA and 65% in the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley LGAs. The intensity of the burn in this region also set it aside from other parts of the state, as it experienced far higher rates of crown burn.

FCNSW has returned to these forests without generating additional site-specific operation conditions (SSOCs) for logging operations, with plans to revert to the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (CIFOA).

The CIFOAs have been disastrous for biodiversity since implementation and were not developed to protect the environment following fires of this magnitude. The rules and regulations around environmentally destructive practices like logging must be amended to meet a changing climate and the conditions they bring.

Pockets of unburnt and lightly burnt forest that are threatened with logging have become critical refuges for the region's stunning and diverse wildlife. Experts claim that it is more important than ever to ensure these areas are protected, as it provides habitat for animals while surrounding areas regenerate.

Following large bushfires, refuges for surviving animals are critical as they provide food and habitat immediately post-fire, and then allow them to grow their populations outwards as surrounding bush recovers. These areas are now included as targets of FCNSW operations on the South Coast.

Please make Forestry Corporation immediately cease logging and planning harvesting operations on the South Coast. These forests and its wildlife need far more time to recover. Yours sincerely One of the thousands of concerned Australian and South Coast residents.

VIDEO: Nature Conservation Council of NSW say Forestry NSW wants to log without the EPA's approval Nature Conservation Council of NSW say "Forestry Corporation NSW has recently resumed logging in South Coast native forests. Following the Black Summer bushfires, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) restricted logging on the South Coast to give the fragile burnt forests and wildlife a chance to recover.

"The EPA says that recovery could take over 100 years in some forests, so that tree hollows can form and threatened species populations can recover. But Forestry Corp is now ignoring the EPA’s concerns and is logging on the South Coast again without additional environmental protections. This is a reprehensible move that puts threatened species like the greater glider at threat.

"Forestry Corporation also plans to log areas which were unburnt or only lightly burnt during the fires. Areas which survived largely intact are refuges for animals that were displaced due to extensive burning in surrounding forests. They have nowhere else to go.

"Please send an email to tell your local MP that you are disgusted with the plan to

decimate these forests and that Forestry Corp needs to immediately halt plans to log the South Coast forests."