New South Wales Forest Products Assn. welcomes buyback of 50,000 m3/year of hardwood allocations, says it will secure sustainability of resource, secure employment in 315,175 hectares of state forest-controlled land available for harvesting

, June 24, 2014 (press release) – The NSW Forest Products Association (NSWFPA) welcomes today's decision by Forest Corporation NSW to safeguard a sustainable supply of timber to all saw millers in the region by buying back 50,000 cubic metres of hardwood allocation from its largest customer on the North Coast.

"By securing the supply of HQ saw logs to all industry on the North Coast, this decision not only maintains the supply of vital products to the NSW building industry but sustains employment in regional NSW," said Maree McCaskill, General Manager of the NSW Forest Products Association.

"For NSWFPA members, whose businesses rely on allocations of timber under contract with Forest Corporation NSW, the long term sustainability of both the resource and the industry is of paramount importance. In this concern, the timber industry stands united with the NSW Government and with North Coast communities in seeking to harvest timber in a sustainable way. This decision ensures that a well-regulated supply will continue and assists in crafting a future for timber businesses post 2023 when negotiations under a further Regional Forest Agreement have concluded.

The forest and park estate in NSW is the most highly regulated in the world and the NSW timber industry works very effectively within these parameters. Of the total 785,407 hectares of state forest controlled land on the North Coast, only 315,175 hectares (40%) are made available by Forest Corporation NSW for selective, sustainable harvesting. Clear felling is not a practice used in the NSW native hardwood forests.

The NSWFPA argues that the key to ensuring sustainable forest management is to treat the entire tenure in NSW - whether national park, state forest or Crown Land - with the same management regime, one that achieves triple bottom line - social, environmental and economic outcomes.

"Communities in Europe, the UK, the USA and Canada agree that environmental sustainability requires active forest and park management rather than estate lock ups, which result in long term environmental degradation.

"Anyone who appreciates their own garden or backyard accepts that active management of an area leads to a healthier outcomes for plants, trees and animals.

This is simply a microcosm of the practices needed in the larger NSW estate."

ENDS

Media Contact:

Maree McCaskill

General Manager

0418 657 453

SOURCE: NSW Forest Products Association

(c) 2014 Australian Associated Press

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