Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Save the Forests – stop the RFAs

Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs), signed twenty years ago, give security for companies to log publicly owned forests. The NSW Government is now jamming through on-going, virtually perpetual RFAs with weaker environmental protections. There's a consultation process now on, but you’ll have to be quick!

National Parks Association of NSW has prepared a submission letter and a submission guide. Please make a submission, as every objection counts.

Make a submission now: Say No Way to RFAs!
(submission period now closed)

These RFA agreements must be discontinued. The RFAs remove forestry operations from environmental impact assessment and public review under state and federal laws, and offer little protection to threatened species, streams and catchments.

The proposed permanent RFAs seek to set unsustainable levels of logging in legislative stone, and that is impossible. The RFA remake will hinder NSW moving to self-sufficiency in timber products and block the uptake of innovative alternatives because the profitable plantation sector must compete with subsidies paid to assist logging operations in natural forests. 

According to Dailan Pugh, NSW taxpayers have paid at least $12.9 million to buy back timber committed in Wood Supply Agreements to North Coast sawmillers for trees that never existed. And Scott Daines reports that the Forestry Corporation NSW has been losing between $11–$16 million tax payer dollars every year.

The only means to increase carbon stocks and reduce emissions from forests is by planting more trees and allowing existing trees in the natural forests to grow to maturity. Forestry must move to plantation-based tree cropping operations established on previously cleared private land to provide prosperity with plentiful supplies wood products. Business as usual logging will see more wildlife go extinct and reduce carbon stocks as existing forests are converted into virtual plantations that can not meet future demands.

The expiry of out-moded RFAs, on the other hand, would turn our federal and state environmental laws back on in the forests. This is not a radical proposal given the failure to achieve Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management and the spread of clearfelling up and down the NSW east coast. The politically poisonous industry campaign to push back environmental protection, clearfell available forests and make these forest agreements permanent will end in logging national parks. The industry's so-called ‘nil-tenure’ solution must be stopped. 

Read the Colong Foundation detailed submission.

Remember that Saving the NSW Forests is an on-going process – this backgrounder explains how two million hectares of forests are now at risk.