Labor to overturn Liberal-National approval of cable logging

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A Labor Government will reinstate a ban on the ecologically destructive and dangerous practice of cable logging in NSW.

The NSW Liberal-National Government has given approval to the trial of cable logging on the Mid North Coast.

NSW Labor leader Luke Foley and Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord today said a Foley Labor Government would stop the trial and permanently ban the practice of cable logging in NSW.

The ban would be one of the first acts of the new Labor Environment Minister.

The Liberal-National trial is set to begin after the March 28 election and will be overseen by the Forestry Corporation of NSW. To view details of the NSW cable logging trial:

http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/forestagreements/coastIFOAsHarvestingTrial.htm

The Liberal-National State Government has selected state forests located to the west of Urunga and Nambucca Heads, including the Oakes State Forest. The sites are next to the New England National Park.

The areas proposed for the steep land cable logging trial are on geology known as the Nambucca Shale Beds which is uniquely prone to landslides, particularly on steep slopes where stabilising vegetation is removed. 

Presently, it was unlawful to log on slopes of more than 30 degree gradients as it would create massive soil erosion and water pollution. It is also dangerous for workers.

Cable logging is a set of techniques where felled trees are extracted from the forest by carrying or dragging them out with heavy cables and specialised winches. It is the only way to extract timber from slopes that are so steep that bulldozers and other modern tree-felling equipment cannot operate safely.

It is a dangerous, inefficient and expensive way to extract single trees from selectively logged areas.

The hillside is stripped clean allowing massive erosion.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Luke Foley:

“Cable logging is an archaic practice that hasn’t been allowed in NSW for 20 years and I hoped had disappeared from land management in NSW forever.

“Everyone remembers the images of those mountains stripped bare in Tasmania.

“That is until this Liberal National Government gave the green light without any mention of it publicly or any discussion with the community.

“I won’t have a bar of cable logging in NSW. It will the first act of a new Labor Environment Minister to reintroduce the ban – no exceptions.

“When it comes to the environment, the choice between Labor and the Liberals-Nationals is stark. Labor wants to protect our forests and stop CSG while the Liberals-Nationals want to allow cable logging and roll out the red carpet for CSG and unconventional gas in NSW.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the North Coast, Walt Secord:

“The geology of the areas where this is proposed on the Mid North Coast is very unstable.

“Forested hillsides would be turned into moonscapes and the risks of landslip and massive erosion are very real.

“This is environmental vandalism and a step back in time from a Government that is out of touch with northern NSW communities.”

“It is typical of the Liberals and Nationals to try and keep this irresponsible practice of cable logging quiet until after the election. The Liberals and Nationals know that if the community knew about their plans to allow cable logging, the community would be outraged.”