Motion No 1: Forestry in Bellingen Shire
The Bellingen River Branch of Labor calls on the NSW Government to commit to four inquiries related to forestry in Bellingen Shire, specifically:
(1) Calls on the NSW Government to urgently commission an expert independent inquiry into the fire threat to Bellingen Shire from NSW Forestry Corporation operations and in general, given the changing climate, most notably hotter and drier conditions, which are now a permanent feature and will only worsen.
(2) Calls on the NSW Government to immediately suspend all logging operations in Bellingen Shire pending an expert independent inquiry into the ongoing suitability of the shire for the harvesting of timber in current locations. This inquiry should include in the terms of reference the impacts of forestry operations on flora and fauna species, air quality, water quality, soil quality, locale amenity, erosion, employment, tourism, economic development, real estate values and local infrastructure, including roads.
(3) Calls on the NSW Government commission an expert independent inquiry into the conduct of the NSW Forestry Corporation and its compliance with legislation and regulation; its contract management with contractors; its compliance with environmental standards; its engagement with community stakeholders and its adherence to best practise corporate behaviour.
(4) Calls on the NSW Government commission an independent expert inquiry into the economic impact of forestry in the shire and to examine options for alternative sites within the Shire for plantation timber and for new industries, such as nature-based tourism, bush regeneration and habitat restoration.
(5) For all parties to recognise that timber is a renewable resource and, done right, forestry can be a sustainable industry which has an important place in addressing the climate crisis and Australia meeting its obligations under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. All parties should also consider that the potential exists to increase employment in forestry providing (a) suitable areas can be found for plantations; (b) there’s consensus between the community, government and business on locations and operations and, (c) NSW Forestry Corporation reforms its practices and is subject to frequent independent oversight.
(6) For all parties to recognise there are some businesses and individuals in the shire dependent on forestry for their livelihood and any proposed changes should include programs, developed in consultation with the union movement, to assist those impacted to transition to a new future.
(7) All parties note that under Federal and State National Party governments, Federal Government forecasts indicate employment in primary industry (agriculture, forestry and fisheries) on the upper Mid-North Coast (Coffs/Grafton) is forecast to fall from 4,400 in 2017 to 4,200 in 2022 and remain steady in the lower Mid-North Coast (Macleay/Port/Taree). Source: http://lmip.gov.au/default.aspx?LMIP/EmploymentProjections
(8) For NSW Labor to adopt the principles of this motion into policy, for advocacy in Opposition and implementation in Government.
- NSW Premier
- NSW Minister for Primary Industry
- NSW Minister for the Environment
- NSW Leader of the Opposition
- NSW Shadow Minister for Primary Industry
- NSW Shadow Minister for the Environment
- Federal Shadow Minister for Forestry
- NSW Federal Labor Candidates – Page, Cowper, Lyne
- NSW State Labor Candidates – Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Oxley, Port Macquarie, Myall Lakes
- Mayor, Bellingen Shire
- General Manager, Bellingen Shire
Motion #2: Preferences at the Federal Election
The Bellingen River Branch calls on the Australian Labor Party to preference One Nation, Liberal Democrats and Katter Australia Party after Liberal Party, National Party, Liberal National Party (QLD), Country Liberal Party (NT) candidates at the next federal election.
- National Secretary, Australian Labor Party.
Updated: 17 August 2018