“Perverse Incentive” NSW Government Continues Native Forest Logging to Keep Carbon Credits Plan Alive

by Stephen Long


An investigative video report by the Australia Institute has found taxpayer subsidised native forest logging is destroying hundreds of hectares of the future Great Koala National Park each week, despite the NSW Government’s election commitment to put the land aside for protection.

The video report documents evidence of ‘forestry best practice’ violations, resulting in the damage or destruction of trees reserved as koala habitat.

The NSW Government plans to monetise the Great Koala National Park through the use of carbon credits. This push for carbon credits is creating a perverse incentive to continue logging, so that the Government can argue the planned credits involve genuine “avoided deforestation.”

Key Findings

  • The forests within the boundaries of the proposed Great Koala National Park are home to nearly one in five of the state’s wild koalas, as well as other endangered species such as the Greater Glider.
  • The Australia Institute report highlights logging and its aftermath at Shea’s Nob, Newry State Forest and Clouds Creek.
  • Interviewees told the Australia Institute that hundreds of hectares within the planned Great Koala National Park are being industrially logged each week.
  • NSW Labor has been promising the park for almost 10 years, and despite being core Labor policy the Government has refused to put a moratorium on logging within the area

“The desire to monetise the forest through the use of carbon credits creates an incentive to continue logging. It is a bizarre and cynical approach to nature conservation that overlooks the true value of this environment,” said Stephen Long, Senior Fellow and Contributing Editor at the Australia Institute.

“It’s time we stopped accepting the backwards logic of a carbon credit system based on ‘improved native forest management’, when it’s clear the best thing for the forest is to protect it as a national park.

“Every single week logging trucks are removing hundreds of trees and the carbon they contain, and taking with them important habitat for an Australian mammal that a parliamentary enquiry predicted could be extinct by 2050.

“New South Wales residents would be surprised to learn that the forestry industry runs at a loss and is propped up by taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year. The removal and destruction of critical koala habitat is being paid for, in part, by the community,” Mr Long said.

“We’ve discovered there’s enough gliders in there to repopulate these forests. They’re breeding, they’re recovering from fire. Why would you go and log it? It’s just madness,” said Meredith Stanton, Clouds Creek local and forest campaigner.

“They’re coming in to get whatever timber is still standing in some of the oldest forests [because] once the Great Koala National Park has been made, they won’t have access to it.

“I think it’s just a smash and grab,” Ms Stanton said.

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