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Council to discuss cessation of native logging on the supposed Nature Coast

Eurobodalla Councillors are being asked to support the cessation of logging of native forests in the Eurobodalla. Logging of native forests simply does not align with objectives from the South Coast Destination Management Plan to be “sustainable and compatible with the branding and character of the region” ie ‘All kinds of natural’ and ‘The Nature Coast’, and clearly does not uphold “the importance of the natural environment to the ongoing sustainability of the visitor economy.” Deputy Mayor Alison Worthington In the motion she is putting before the Council at the next Ordinary Council meeting of April 12th the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Alison Worthington will be asking that her fellow councillors note the growing evidence that native forest logging by Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) in our State Forests is both economically and environmentally unsustainable. She will also be asking that they note that logging in our State Forests is incompatible with our shire’s and our region’s investments in nature-based tourism enterprises, climate change mitigation and the protection of biodiversity. Her motion seeks to advocate to the NSW State government for the urgent development of a plan for the just transition of the native forest industry to ecologically sustainable plantations noting that both WA and Victorian State Governments have announced such transitions and have provided end dates for native forest logging of 2024 and 2030 respectively. Deputy Mayor Councillor Worthington says that the motion being put acknowledges and responds to the calls from concerned south coast residents for better management of State Forests to support nature-based tourism enterprises, recreational usage, threatened species habitat protection and carbon sequestration that asks Council to advocate that the NSW State government enact plans to manage our State Forests, in partnership with south coast communities and local councils, for their nature-based tourism assets, recreational opportunities, biodiversity values and for carbon sequestration. Deputy Mayor Councillor Worthington says "There is growing community demand here in the Eurobodalla, across NSW, as well as around Australia and the world, for native forest logging to stop, and for the native forest timber industry to be transitioned to sustainable plantations. We are in the middle of twin deteriorating crises - the Biodiversity Crisis and the Climate Crisis. "Native forest logging practices in our south coast State Forests, which make up 31% of our shire’s land area, directly contribute to both crises. Logging of our south coast State Forests is not economically or environmentally sustainable. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald on 15 March 2022 reported that the state-owned Forestry Corporation suffered a $20 million loss last year, with NSW taxpayers forced to pay $441 per hectare to log critical native forests." Councillors will be asked to support the action of writing to the NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet, the Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders, and the shareholder Ministers for FCNSW the Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean, and the Minister for Finance and Employee Relations Damien Tudehope, along with the relevant Shadow Ministers.

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