Skulduggery in the forests: Logging agency’s plans to lock in excessive logging until 2033
May 20, 2020

Tender seeks buyers for 150,000m3 per annum of karri and jarrah logs

In the midst of the Forest Management Plan’s mid-term performance review, which has exposed a chronic lack of scientific oversight of logging and burning in WA’s South West forests, the Forest Products Commission (FPC) has put out a tender seeking buyers for a massive quantity of jarrah and karri logs until 2033.

“This tender would lock future governments in to excessive logging for a further 15 years regardless of climate change, crashing wildlife populations and the public’s desire to see our remaining forests conserved,’ said Jess Beckerling, convener of the WA Forest Alliance.

“Contracts are not allowed to exceed the 10-year State Forest Management Plans. This provides for governments to be able to ensure that the most up-to-date science underpins decisions about logging levels and burning practices.

“Promising massive volumes of wood through ‘investment security guarantees’ in the absence of credible science-based management, as this tender does, is a way of locking in over-cutting of the forests and preventing future governments from responding to scientific and community input.
“This tender would significantly increase the scale and extent of karri and jarrah logging and lock it in until 2033.

“WAFA is calling on the McGowan Government to make a commitment to Western Australians who love our unique forests and wildlife and want to see them protected, that they will ensure proper process is followed and that the next Forest Management Plan doesn’t come with built-in commitments to ongoing logging.

“Climate change is barrelling ahead in the South West. We are already at the projected 2030 worst-case scenario level for temperature, and recent rainfall has been ‘markedly lower’ than the averages recorded between 1990 and 2010. This means that current forest management is already based on seriously out-of-date climate data.

“It would be unconscionable to make long-term logging commitments before updating the climate data and management activities as a part of the development of the next Forest Management Plan,” said Ms Beckerling.