‘Drought-hit timber farms will be gone by Christmas’: report
The drought has put a strain on the timber industry in Queensland, but a new report from the National Rural and Remote Area Council says that if there is no mitigation plan, timber farms are going to be gone in less than two months.
The NRC said that the Queensland Government has no plan to address the drought and that the current situation has left “dire” conditions for the timber farming industry.
“If we have no mitigation action plan, it will mean that by Christmas we’ll be dealing with the effects of this year’s severe drought,” NRC Rural Commissioner Geoff Waugh said.
“[If] we don’t have a plan, there’s nothing that can be done to prepare for that.”
Inspectors from the NRC inspected about 150 farms, looking for signs of the severity of the drought.
They found a “significant reduction in the quality of the timber that we see in the paddocks,” and “substantial deterioration in the health of the animals that are part of the traditional timber harvest”.
“The worst affected areas of the country are in Queensland,” NLC Rural Commissioner Dave Scott said.
“The impacts will be felt for many years to come.”
“We have a lot of areas that have significant impacts in the north of Queensland.”
The Queensland Government said that they are “very aware of the issues” and are “working hard to help mitigate the impact”.
The Government has also been working with local councils to “improve” their local infrastructure, with the aim of providing more trees for the local economy.
Local councils have also been asked to work with the Government to implement the NLC’s mitigation plan.
In a statement to the ABC, the NRLAC said that while they are aware of some of the areas affected, they were still in the process of developing a mitigation plan for those areas.
NRLAC is also calling for the State Government to commit to an end to the importation of timber for commercial purposes.
ABC/AAPTopics:environmental-impact,environment,government-and-politics,environmental,cannabis,southeast-4304,queensland,qldFirst posted January 30, 2019 11:56:25Contact Emily Lees