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Keneally's Riverina Redgum protection is to kick in once her 5 year logging permission has been exhausted

The Keneally Government of NSW announces it will protect 107,000 hectares of Riverina redgums and set up an $80 million support package with logging to be wound down over the next five years.

But after five years the loggers would have done their redgum raping and pillaging, so seriously what forest will be left worth protecting? Keneally offers falsehood, not commitment.

Proclaims Keneally: "I've asked the people of NSW to judge me on what I do and the services I deliver." [Paul Bibby interview, Sun-Herald, 'Public Service with a Smile', 21-Feb-2010, pp. 14-15]

Keneally, in her beguilled naivety, professes to her electorate"Every night when I go to bed I think over how the day has gone, what we've accomplished, what I want to do tomorrow. It's a constant process, testing myself against the standards that I've set for myself and the standards that the people of NSW have for government."

But Keneally should be judged on her treatment of the old growth native forests of the NSW Riverina and NSW South Coast, which she is allowing be raped for railway sleepers and woodchips.

Keneally, Sartor and MacDonald have offered false promises of forest protection to follow 5 years of more logging. Yeah right! This follows the new Premier Kristina Keneally declaring just before Chrstmas that she will keep Labor warlords Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid as her mentors, describing them as "popular" Labor figures.

Brian Robins article in the Sydney Morning Herald today ‘Rees's plan to save redgums faces the axe’ states that environmentalist are in fact “chopping mad” over NSW Premier Keneally’s decision to allow for a five-year wind-down of logging and for ''chopping the promised area in half''.

Meanwhile, a media release yesterday by The Wilderness Society “Browns in charge: Keneally backs down on Red Gum protection” stated that both The Wilderness Society and the National Parks Association of NSW had “slammed the Keneally Government, following their back down on River Red Gum protection this morning. The decision opens up the heart of the Murray River floodplain, the exceptional Millewa forest, to on-going logging for at least five years.”

“Former Premier Rees described the Millewa Group of forests as the ‘jewel in the conservation crown’ when he declared a National Park across them.

former NSW Premier Nathan Rees

“Premier Keneally has today chopped the promised protected area in half, and turned her back on independent advice from her own scientists that recommended protecting all of Millewa immediately.”

“Allowing logging to continue within Millewa for another 5 years will not leave a forest worth protecting. Premier Keneally has failed the environment,” said Ms Flint.

“This is yet another indelible black mark on the abysmal environmental record of the NSW Labor Government. Without the full protection of Millewa, the River Red Gum decision is an empty shell”, said Peter Cooper, The Wilderness Society Sydney campaigner.

But then when new Premier Keneally appointed infamous former planning minister Frank Sartor as Environment Minister for NSW and reappointed sacked minister Ian MacDonald a combined portfolio of Minister for State and Regional Development, Minister for Forest and Mineral Resources, what did she expect?

Back on 11-Dec-09 the Federal Liberal Coalition Senator Richard Colbeck, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,
pressured Keneally to reverse Rees’ River Red Gum decision.

He claimed “locking up these forests in a National Park will not only severely damage local economies and destroy local jobs, but it has the potential to undo all of the good environmental work undertaken by the forestry operators.”

Opposition to National Parks from the Minister for Forests, Ian MacDonald, has been allowed to thwart what was Ree's exceptional conservation decision. Like Rees before her, Keneally has demonstrated she is nothing but a puppet of the Labor Right.

NSW 'Punch and Judy' Show

The Natural Resource Commission set up to assess the redgum forests of the Riverina Bioregion in December 2009 made a total of sixteen recommendations to the NSW State Government as follows. Has even one been adopted?

Recommendation 1: Undertake collaborative water reform

Recommendation 2: Complete water delivery infrastructure at Koondrook-Perricoota

Recommendation 3: Implement forest management principles

Recommendation 4: Trial ecological thinning on a large-scale

Recommendation 5: Codify forest management operations

Recommendation 6: Employ a diversity of management approaches

Recommendation 7: Implement transparent governance

Recommendation 8: Prioritise additions to the National Reserve System

Recommendation 9: Establish trans-border iconic national parks

Recommendation 10: Implement an adaptive management strategy

Recommendation 11: Enhance ecological connectivity

Recommendation 12: Find a new way to govern and fund multiple-use forests

Recommendation 13: Provide exit assistance and support the industry to adapt

Recommendation 14: Engage communities in managing forests

Recommendation 15: Empower Indigenous communities to manage some forests

Recommendation 16: Identify and fund regional development opportunities

Disgustingly, democracy has been shafted again. The entire Natural Resource Commission review and assessment of the Riverina Bioregion was another disingenuous farce by government pretending to be seen to be following due environmental assessment process, when it eventually does what it wants anyway - allows for more logging to supposedly perpetuate around a hundred odd unsustainable 19th Century jobs.

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