The Nature Conservation Council of NSW will appear before the Administrative Decisions Tribunal
today, appealing a decision by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment to withhold critical
information regarding wood supply contracts requested under the Government Information
(Public Access) Act 2009.
“Full disclosure of the government’s wood supply contracts will, for the first time, allow informed
dialogue about options for reining in unsustainable logging in our public forests,” Chief Executive
Officer Pepe Clarke said.
“The community has fought for years to try and discover the details of secret deals made between
successive state governments and logging companies for access to public forests in NSW.
“In our view, it is in the public interest that these contracts be disclosed in full, to enhance the
financial accountability of the state forest agency, Forests NSW, and to allow interested
stakeholders to assess options for resolving the timber supply crisis in our public forests.
“We believe the details of these contracts will reveal just how unsustainable the forestry industry
is in NSW, there is simply not enough wood to meet contracts.
“The details of the contracts will also show how much public money will have to be paid if wood
supply contracts can't be met.
“The government is under commercial pressure to allow increasingly unsustainable logging in our
state forests, with construction supplies company Boral currently pursuing the NSW government
for failing to meet the terms of a timber contract.
“At a time of economic uncertainty and state budget cuts, the shortfall in these contracts
introduce an unacceptable compensation risk for the NSW community.
“Increasingly intense logging of our state forests to meet supply contracts that are unsustainable
must end. The community has a right to know what we’ve signed up for with these wood supply
contracts and a right to examine the options for varying or terminating the contracts,” Mr Clarke