Greens MLC unimpressed by forestry and farming practices
GREENS MLC Dr Mehreen Faruqi found a receptive audience at a meeting in Bellingen when she outlined her party's case for changed timber getting practices.
After visiting Coffs Harbour to speak at a White Ribbon Day event Dr Faruqi switched her focus from domestic violence issues to forestry harvesting.
"Nearby forest neighbours are exposed to smoke pollution from burning off forest remnants after clear-felling,” she said.
"The toxic effects of smoke pollution are well known and affected residences were present long before the so called plantations were established.
"Bellinger Valley is surrounded by state forests, vital carbon sink reserves and a wonderful if underutilised recreation resource for the community.
"Current moves to harvest timber for the creation of wood pellets designed for export are a huge concern.
"Few jobs will result, soils will suffer and other climate emergency carbon reduction measures will be negated.
"Constantly logged forests are drier forests and as average temperatures increase the last thing we need in surrounding towns are forests with reduced water storage capacity and ready to ignite.”
Dr Faruqi noted Bellingen Shire Council carried a motion to require development consent for the establishment of blueberry farms in some zones unless the farms comply with certain criteria.
"I applaud the council's decision and regret that other Coffs Coast Councils haven't implemented similar sensible precautions.
"Especially after we have seen some recent evidence of poor chemical management practice on local blueberry farms.
"We need a Great Koala National Park in the region to protect local forests from logging and help ensure the survival of one of the state's most important koala populations.”