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Letter to the Editor

When simply being "legal" isn't enough

How could the BDN run the story "EPA raise concerns over Tantawangalo logging during ongoing investigation" (29/3/17) without giving any credit to the activists who did the initial hard work documenting the breaches, who risked prosecution entering logging sites to check on compliance and without whose work the EPA would never have taken any interest in the logging, let alone prosecute?

Logging rules are weak and seldom enforced. Unlike other States, NSW law prohibits members of the public from prosecuting breaches. The only legal means of holding the industry to account is to persuade the EPA to investigate and prosecute. In this State we have the bizarre situation where only one Government agency can prosecute the other and when found guilty, the Forestry Corporation pays a small fine. What could be more ridiculous?

Worst of all, even if all the logging rules were strictly enforced, the logging would still be wrong. Animals would still be killed and injured, soil would still be damaged and eroded, waterways would still be silted up, polluted and huge amounts of CO2 would still be released into the atmosphere. For what? An annual multi million dollar loss for state taxpayers and cheap woodchips which could and should be sourced from plantations.

But thatís not news, I guess.

Harriett Swift
Convener
Chipstop Campaign against Woodchipping

2 April 2017