NSW Forests jobs facing chop

THE NSW Greens has called for the protection of 70 Forests NSW jobs in the name of conservation.

Greens MP Ian Cohen wants Minister for Forestry Resources Ian Macdonald to clarify whether he is going to sack 70 Forests NSW staff and replace them with private contractors from Boral Australia.

“The sackings will only aggravate the poor compliance standards in understaffed and remote State Forests, especially in Northern NSW,” Mr Cohen said.

“Minister Macdonald is hell bent on running a bargain-basement Forests NSW operation by flouting environmental laws and importing cheap labour. This is the modus operandi of irresponsible and unethical factories in certain developing countries. It should not be the basis of operation for a state-owned corporation managing our forests in NSW.

“Late last year, ecologist David Milledge did an audit of Yabbra State Forest, uncovering more than 50 breaches to statutory licence conditions and four Acts of Parliament by Forests NSW. “Many of those workers who will be sacked have been expressing concerns for years that they are being forced to oversee logging operations in forests that are still regenerating and shouldn’t be logged for years.

“Putting tree harvesting selection in the hands of private operators ... will mean more logging of exclusion zones, habitat trees and riparian buffer zones.”

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