Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

NRC’s taxpayer subsidy plans for logging Parks are “unworkable”

A Natural Resources Commission (NRC) draft report recommends that taxpayers subsidise the logging of four state conservation areas in the Brigalow-Nandewar Area, just north of Coonabarabran[1].  The subsidy ranges from $575 per hectare for heavy logging to $40 per hectare for low levels of logging under a scheme where the larger white cypress pine trees are proposed to be given away. 

“The taxpayer subsidy proposals for logging in state conservation areas are unworkable.  The public will punish the NSW government at the ballot box if the subsidised park exploitation schemes proposed by the Natural Resources Commission are adopted,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“The taxpayer subsidy of logging (i.e. ‘thinning’ of cypress pines) in state conservation area reserves is intended to prevent the proposal becoming a raid and pillage operation.  The subsidised scheme is uneconomic, which makes it highly likely that environmental damage will be caused through cost cutting measures, such as reduced supervision,” said Mr Muir.

“Added to the unacceptable economic costs of logging, are the opportunity costs in terms of ecological damage and scenery degraded, as well as pest species invasion, making this scheme completely inappropriate for a conservation area”, Mr Muir said. 

“It cannot be argued that logging SCAs at low intensities has an economic benefit, and if it is not economic, it is not justified as either for being social welfare for loggers or as an environmental benefit.  Logging parks is just a really bad idea all round,” he said.

“The Commission’s suggestion state conservation area reserves should be logged for their own good is repugnant.  It would be a less harmful outcome if taxpayers paid loggers and graziers to leave the state conservation areas alone”, he said.

“Public comment period on NRC’s plans to log and graze state conservation areas has been extended till from today until August 10, 2014, following requests from conservation groups for more time”, said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)

 

[1] Natural Resources Commission, 2014, Table 25, page 105 in Draft Report - Active and Adaptive Cypress Management in the Brigalow and Nandewar State Conservation Areas, NRC, Sydney (see below).