It’s been twenty years since the first regional forestry agreements (RFA’s) were signed. They were meant to protect and conserve Australia’s precious native forests, but critics say they’ve done just the opposite.
30 environmental groups are demanding that two RFA’s set to expire in 2017 not be renewed. The RFA’s cost states huge sums, worsened environmental outcomes, and created loopholes for the logging industry.
With the first RFAs signed in 1997 soon to expire, we have the opportunity to fight for real conservation laws that protect Australia’s forests.
Call on Environment Minister Greg Hunt not to renew the RFA’s.
The RFA’s have meant the logging industry has evaded commonwealth environmental laws that regulate other industries like mining. But environmentalists say a full transition out of native forest logging is needed. Already, more than 85% of Australia’s wood products come from plantation sources.
While the Liberal party has said it would extend the RFA’s, Labor has not announced a policy on the agreements. Only The Greens have opposed the RFA’s extension, pointing to iconic Australian species now “on the brink of extinction because of habitat loss” caused by logging.
Regardless of the election outcomes, we need our government to step up and protect our native forests. Special favors to the logging industry are threatening our most coveted species and habitats. We need to come together now to make sure these bad RFA’s expire next year.
Tell Environment Minister Greg Hunt or his successor: let RFA’s expire and protect our forests.