Wednesday, 1 October 2008

NSW illegally logging forests: report

The Federal Government has received a report that claims New South Wales is illegally logging river red gum forests.

The National Parks Association's report on internationally recognised wetlands on the Riverina says logging has intensified since the river red gums were listed on the international Ramsar convention.

Georgina Woods's analysis has found more than 6 percent of the trees are being illegally logged each year.

"The logging on the river red gums does not have an approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act," she said.

"We've written to the Federal Government to try and bring this issue to a head, to try and draw attention to the NSW Government before it's too late."

NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald says he is confident the report will be rejected.

"We believe we have been acting entirely within the law in NSW and complying with the biodiversity laws at a federal level," he said.

The state is performing the first ever environmental impact assessment on Riverina red gum logging.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says the Commonwealth has launched its own investigation.

"I expect to work collaboratively and cooperatively with the State Government," he said. "But I will take very seriously the responsibilities we have under the Act for matters of national environmental significance."

Mr Garrett says he expects a report back in a few weeks.

No comments: