Logging raises concerns with Capricorn Conservation Council
WITH news this week that 1.2 million hectares of native Queensland forests would be opened up to mass logging operations, the Capricorn Conservation Council is calling for further information to be released.
The council's co-ordinator Michael McCabe said the State's remaining native forests were already under threat from climate change, diseases, expanding coal and gas exploitation, and the construction of infrastructure like pipelines and rail corridors.
He said he was contacting Agriculture Minister John McVeigh to obtain clear details of the changes.
"Minister McVeigh needs to provide details and actual locations for the proposed opening up of state forests," Mr McCabe said.
"He should clearly state what extra resources he will commit to policing and assessing ecologically sustainable logging practices with particular reference to Queensland's Biodiversity Strategy.
"We already lag behind the rest of Australia with less than 5% of Queensland protected in national parks, so forest reserves are critical for nature conservation."
Timber Queensland CEO Rod McInnes assured, in yesterday's Morning Bulletin, that clear felling would not be practised, and of the 1.2m hectares, only 30,000 hectares would be logged each year.
However, Mr McCabe was anxious about the move to an industry-based control system, from the current patrolling by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
He said that forest reserves are in limited supply and are very important for the environment.
"Forest reserves (are) essential for the protection and health of our river catchments (and) provide ecological connectivity enabling plant and animal communities to adapt to our increasingly variable climate," he said.
"Central Queensland has already massively cleared native vegetation and most of the forest reserves are along important natural corridors like the Expedition Range connecting the Blackdown Tableland to the Great Divide."