Labor’s green lobby demands Productivity Commission forestry review

By Jacob Greber
The Australian Financial Review
August 28, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — Labor’s internal green lobby is calling on Agriculture Minister Murray Watt to use the Productivity Commission for a major nationwide review of the forestry industry after the party resolved to rethink its three-decade-old stance on native logging. The push comes after ALP powerbrokers defused a potentially damaging rift over forestry at the party conference two weeks ago by quashing a motion from the Labor Environmental Action Network to ban logging of native forests. Instead, the party resolved to review the National Forest Policy Statement, a 1992 policy. The Keating-era deal led to a series of regional forest agreements that expanded forest conservation while boosting industry security with guaranteed areas for logging. However, since then, a collapse in new plantations, emerging concerns over the need to sequester carbon, and Australia’s deteriorating record of species extinctions are prompting calls for a rethink among green and environmental groups.

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