THE GREEN VOTE: Nationals’ Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser and Clarence Valley MP Chris Gulaptis have slammed Labor over its koala park plan.
THE GREEN VOTE: Nationals’ Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser and Clarence Valley MP Chris Gulaptis have slammed Labor over its koala park plan.

Loggers left in the dark on koala park

LOGGERS have accused NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley of deciding to establish a 315,000ha koala national park on the state's north coast "with zero consultation of affected communities".

Timber Communities Australia spokesman Trevor Sargeant said the group would remind all of the region's politicians that logging and healthy koala populations could go hand in hand.

"TCA wrote to Mr Foley and will write to all candidates in the affected region in the upcoming election to remind them it's perfectly possible to manage forests in a sustainable way and protect native animal habitat at the same time," he said.

"We don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater."

Labor's plan involves adding more than 170,000ha of additional forest to the state's existing national park reserves.

He estimated the park would contain one-fifth of the state's 4500 remaining wild koalas, along with 33 other endangered species.

Mr Sargeant argued industry regulations already ensured koala habitats were protected from logging and the need for renewable materials like timber would only grow in future decades.

"Forest industry policies can be win-win with environmental and other positive outcomes," he said.

"It doesn't always have to be 'one' or 'the other'.

"The triple bottom line of good environment, economic and social or community outcomes is too often portrayed as a tug of war between environment and economic outcomes.

"This is yesterday's mantra."

-APN NEWSDESK



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