May 5, 2005

Western Woodlands saved by Carr

WESTERN WOODLANDS SAVED BY CARR

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 5 May 2005

I congratulate Premier Carr on his comprehensive plan to protect 348 000 hectares of woodland stretching from Dubbo to the Queensland border.

The NSW Government’s Western Woodlands decision affects the Brigalow Belt South and Nandewar region.

The Carr Government has shown that with vision and conviction, long term environmental goals can be achieved without jeopardising the job security of timber communities.

Under Premier Carr’s plan, 348 000 hectares of icon forests will be permanently protected in a new Community Conservation Area. This area is particularly important for biodiversity.and includes the Pilliga, Bebu, Goonoo and Terry Hie Hie Forests.

This Plan will provide certainty for the industry with minimal reductions to available volumes of wood supply.

The NSW Government will also ensure that any timber worker affected by the decision will have a job either at or near where they now live. $80 million will go towards job creation, timber industry development and conservation management over the next five years.

This plan shows that Labor Governments are serious about protecting the environment, whilst ensuring that communities are looked after.

History shows only Labor Governments protect forests, only Labor Governments stop large scale land clearing, and only Labor Governments are taking action to deliver greenhouse gas emissions trading and avoid dangerous climate change.