WA banishes loggers from old growth native forests

New research has found 22 per cent of all bank loans in Australia carry a risk for the environment.

New research has found 22 per cent of all bank loans in Australia carry a risk for the environment. Photo: WA Government

Western Australia has joined Victoria in banning commercial logging of native forests from next year.

The WA forestry minister Jackie Jarvis says timber will only be removed from the state’s native forests in the future to maintain forest health and for approved mine site operations.

“This move by the Cook Government will safeguard our ionic forests for generations to come,” she said on Sunday.

The government will spend $350 million investing in the state’s softwood pine plantations to provide building material and protect existing jobs, as well as provide another 140 new positions.

The investment would help ease the state’s housing crisis as well as prevent climate change by boosting pine forest populations, Ms Jarvis said.

“The record investment in WA’s plantation estate will ensure we can continue to build houses in WA, supporting both the local construction industry and the South West forestry industry,” she said.

Set aside for future generations

The government had already spent $80 million on the Native Forest Transition Plan that included significant industry restructure payments.

WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby said nearly two million hectares of native karri, jarrah and wandoo forests will be protected for future generations.

“This decision reflects the changing attitudes of the community towards our native forests, building on the legacy of the Gallop Labor Government ending old growth logging,” he said.

The move follows the recent announcement by the Victorian government that native timber harvesting in state forests will be gone by the end of the year.


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