Media Releases - 19 June 2024

NSW budget puts untenable logging industry ahead of nature

Yesterday’s budget announcement by the NSW government is out of step with the scale of response required to address the state’s environment crisis.

Just last month the NSW government released their Biodiversity Outlook Report, which indicated that 500 species are expected to become extinct in NSW in the next 100 years. Yet despite this alarming finding, the 2024-25 budget is disappointingly lacklustre on nature protection and restoration.

Half of Australia’s GDP is dependent on healthy ecosystems. Yet the NSW government isn’t investing properly in nature, to the detriment of the communities and livelihoods that depend on it.

While the Wilderness Society welcomes measures such as spending on renewables and maintaining national parks, they are concerned that the worsening biodiversity crisis isn’t being met by a commensurate response in terms of funding for nature. Instead, the NSW government continues to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money each year to prop up the increasingly untenable industrial native forest logging industry that is destroying critical habitat in high conservation value forests. In 2022-2023 alone, the state-owned Forestry Corporation of NSW reported $15 million in losses—and not for the first time. They suffered a $9 million loss in 2021-22 and a $20 million loss in 2020-21.

Victoria Jack, NSW Campaigns Manager for the Wilderness Society, said, “The grim reality is that 500 species are on track to go extinct in NSW in the next 100 years, but we don’t see investment for nature in this budget that will help correct this alarming trend.

“No doubt in a cost of living crisis there is a lot of need in terms of prioritising and allocating public spending, but a good way to find some extra funds would be to stop pumping tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money into propping up the increasingly untenable industrial native forest logging industry. Instead the government should be investing in protecting and restoring nature, for the benefit of people, native species, and climate.”

For interviews with Victoria Jack, NSW Campaigns Manager for the Wilderness Society, please contact Rhiannon Cunningham, media adviser for the Wilderness Society on [email protected] or 0419 992 760