State Forests across NSW are under threat of becoming privatised as Premier Gladys Berejiklian looks to sell, according to the Australian Workers Union.
Strickland, Wyong and Ourimbah State Forests, all of which reside within the Central Coast region, are being considered for private sale by the NSW Government. The possible sale of public assets was indicated by Premier Gladys Bereijklian back in August, and according to Paul Noack, AWU Assistant Branch Secretary for NSW, review of these possible sales has already begun.
The possible sales are being opposed by local campaign, Keep Our Forests In Public Hands, who have set up an online email system for anyone wanting to express their concern to their local MP.
In defence of the protection of these State Forests, Noack has said ‘There’s never been an incidence of privatisation resulting in more jobs. ‘State Forests bring in $100M a year to the State Government coffers, so we’re very productive.’
According to Adam Couch, member for Terrigal, the government is assessing options for the future of the Forestry Corporation’s operations in the area, saying that, ‘No decision will be made before the outcomes of this process are known, and the interests of all relevant stakeholders are carefully considered.’
Town hall meetings will be organised by the union to continue to inform the local community of the issue as it progresses. State forests are incredibly important for conservation, through sustainable forestry. They’re also great spaces for recreation; heaps of our dog friendly walks can be found in state forests, plus they’re great places for camping and 4WDing as well. Their preservation as publicly owned and accessible land is super important for their conservation and use to continue.
Feature photo by Jon Harris