Economists welcome end of native forest logging in WA

The Australia Institute welcomes the WA Government’s decision to end native forest logging and calls for independent inquiries into native forestry in other states.

“The end of native forest logging represents not just good environmental policy, but good economic policy,” said Rod Campbell, economist and Research Director at The Australia Institute.

“Australia Institute research has highlighted the financial and economic losses of the WA Forest Products Commission, in particular on native forestry.

“The FPC lost $1.7 million on native forestry in 2020, just the latest of many poor financial results.

“WA Governments have pumped far more money into native forestry than they were ever likely to get out of it.

“The same pattern is seen across Australia – state governments spending millions to subsidise native forestry while better options are available in plantation forestry and conservation.

“It’s time for a full independent audit of native forestry operations in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania where the same pattern of government subsidies is resulting in rotten economic and environmental outcomes.

“Western Australia should be proud in leading the nation out of this damaging industry.

“Importantly, the WA Government has also put money into community development and plantation forestry to assist with the phase out of the industry.

“But if governments are serious about developing and maintaining regional towns, they need to look beyond capital and land intensive industries like forestry.

“Investment in services not only delivers more jobs per dollar spent, but provides services like health and education that will attract people to regional areas.”

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