After thirty years fighting for change in Australia’s logging industry by conservation groups and the community, Australia’s largest native-forest logging company Gunns Ltd has finally announced an end to the logging of native forests in Australia.
Gunns CEO Greg L’Estrange said at a conference yesterday, “Native forest is not part of our future.”
"We see that the conflict largely has to end…The vast support of the Australian population is with the environmental non-government organisations,” he said.
The Wilderness Society and other conservation groups have welcomed the announcement, and the promise from Gunns that they will work with community and conservation groups on protecting native forests and jobs from now on.
At the Wilderness Society we want to thank all our members and supporters who have helped keep the pressure for change on Gunns over the years.
Thank you - this would not have been possible without your ongoing support and action. Join us online to have your say on our facebook page.
The back-down by Gunns comes at a crucial time for Australia’s native forests, with the recent court-win against the logging of old-growth forests in Victoria only adding to the Australia-wide pressure for protection of our natural heritage.
This represents a huge step forward and forecasts a welcome change in direction in the long running conflict over forestry, and will set a new precedent for the forest industry in Australia.
But there is still more to do!
The next steps are getting the rest of the industry on board and protecting our native forests in national parks and reserves. The Wilderness Society is pushing for reforms in the plantation sector in efforts to create a more environmentally and socially sustainable forest industry.
Right now, informal talks are underway to explore ways to resolve the conflict over native forests in Tasmania and protect both jobs and native forests.
At these talks we’re seeking:
- Protection of Tasmania’s native forests,
- The creation of a sustainable timber industry, and
- The delivery of an end to the decades long forest conflict.
With Gunns logging in Victoria and WA, this announcement could mean big gains on the mainland too.
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