Please enter your email address to change your password.

The portal is unavailable for SA members. Please click here to visit the SA website.

Forestry sale defeat: A victory for workers and nature lovers

February 20, 2020

The Australian Workers’ Union says the decision to halt the sale of NSW State Forests will help protect the resource from future bushfires and allow it to regrow and recover.

The AWU fought a campaign against the plans to privatise huge swathes of state forests arguing it would put jobs at risk and threaten wildlife management and bushfire hazard reduction programs.

“The decision to halt the sale of our state forests is a victory for everyone in NSW. The recent bushfire crisis has demonstrated that we need to keep this valuable asset in the hands of experienced state forestry workers who are skilled in both fire and wildlife management, skills that are needed more than ever.

“This was always an ill-conceived idea. Our state forests provide thousands of jobs and contribute $100 million to the NSW economy every year.

“This will be a huge relief to forestry workers who spent months battling the blazes that tore through our state. These workers can now start the vital job of rebuilding our forests,” said Daniel Walton, National Secretary of The Australian Workers’ Union.

The NSW Government announced today it will not progress with the long-term lease of Forestry Corporation’s softwood plantation business following the conclusion of an independent scoping study.

Mr Walton said the decision was welcome but the NSW Government needed to go further and ensure that the sale of state forests would be taken off the table permanently.

“It’s welcome news the NSW Government has announced a huge replanting program to replace the forests that were destroyed during the bush fire season. This will create new jobs and opportunities for our forestry workers.

“They have worked tirelessly over the past few months to protect these forests, and are now united in helping them regrow. We need to ensure that once they have fully recovered the NSW Government does not consider putting them back up for sale.

“This summer has shown us that we need to provide far more resources to our state forests and ensure they are staffed by those who can manage and prevent future fire outbreaks.”

The AWU represents around 400 state forestry workers who are skilled in both fire and wildlife management.

Loading cart ⌛️ ...