Western Australia’s peak conservation groups have declared a breakthrough in the 40-year community campaign to see Western Australia’s native forest protected from logging in the state’s south-west.
The Conservation Council and WA Forest Alliance were responding to the announcement from the McGowan Government that the next WA Forest Management Plan would see an end to commercial logging of native forests.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said the announcement was a legacy moment for Premier McGowan and his government that would usher in new and exciting opportunities for the Southwest while removing a major threat to wildlife and biodiversity.
“This decision reflects overwhelming support for the protection of native forests from across the community and we congratulate Minister Sanderson, Minister Kelly and Premier McGowan for their leadership.
“This welcome policy direction will pave the way for the growth of sustainable industries in the Southwest including exciting opportunities in tourism, plantation forestry, honey production, land management, and other industries that are compatible with forest protection.
“This is a turning point. The time of clear-felling our ancient forest for low-value woodchips is about to come to an end, and exciting opportunities lie ahead for communities and businesses in the Southwest.
“The Conservation Council congratulates the tireless efforts of the WA Forest Alliance and conservations groups in the southwest who have been working to see real forest protection for over four decades. The overwhelming support across the whole community for the protection of native forests, and the announcement today from the McGowan Government is a testament to their efforts and could not be achieved without them.
“Protection of native forests is critical in the fight against climate change and essential in providing homes and habitat for our unique and endangered wildlife that are suffering from the clearing of habitat, climate change and other threats.
“When protected from burning and logging, native forests have the potential to absorb millions of tonnes of Co2 from our atmosphere each year. The ending of destructive logging practices will mean our forests will play a critical role as a climate solution.
“If managed well, the transition away from destructive native forest logging towards other sustainable industries in the southwest has the potential to be a blueprint for other communities and industries in transition.
“Our state has huge potential to create tens of thousands of jobs through conservation, climate action, renewable energy and other sustainable industries. This decision will help unlock those opportunities in the southwest, and demonstrate how a transition can be made that creates new exciting opportunities for families and communities.”
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing more than 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.
CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies on 08 9420 7291 or by email, [email protected]