Forests bill put to state parliament

New Bill: NSW Greens MLC and spokesperson for forests Dawn Walker during her recent visit to Tantawangalo State Forest. Picture: Supplied
New Bill: NSW Greens MLC and spokesperson for forests Dawn Walker during her recent visit to Tantawangalo State Forest. Picture: Supplied

NSW Greens MLC Dawn Walker has moved to introduce legislation to restore the public’s ability to enforce forestry regulations.

The private members bill aims to amend the Forestry Act of 2012, removing a prohibition on third-parties being able to bring legal proceedings in relation to certain alleged breaches.

Her notice of motion was raised following a visit by Ms Walker to Tantawangalo and Glenbog State Forests.

“I was briefed that there has been work going on on possible breaches the EPA is following up,” she said.

An EPA spokesperson said the compliance investigation into recent logging at Tantawangalo is ongoing.

“We have inspected active logging operations across a large area of the Tantawangalo State Forest on three different occasions in the last six months, with the most recent being on March 28,” the spokesperson said.

“The focus of our investigation is on ensuring that rocky outcrops are protected from logging operations.”

A Forestry Corporation of NSW spokesperson said at the time, the definition of a rocky outcrop is “often very subjective”, and difficult for even “highly experienced staff” to identify.

Ms Walker said past logging breaches have impacted on threatened species and sensitive habitats, and regulations and interpretations are clearly set out by the EPA.

NSW Greens MLC and spokesperson for forests Dawn Walker. Picture: Supplied

NSW Greens MLC and spokesperson for forests Dawn Walker. Picture: Supplied