Less than 20 cents for this?

A message from NSW Greens MP, David Shoebridge.

I’ve been visiting public native forests in my work as an MP for a decade now and they are wonderful places, full of wonderful creatures and places to hike and camp. 

But they’re under threat again. Rain and fire have held Forestry Corporation back since early 2020, but right now they’re gearing up to destroy the forests on the south coast which are still recovering from last summer’s bushfires.  

Just this week I forced Forestry Corporation to release information on how much they made from native forest logging in the last 5 years, and the answer is shocking. After all the damage and destruction they make only $28.03 a hectare when they log native forests. 

Their industrial logging leaves only around 12 trees standing per hectare, and for what? No one could look at all the damage caused to forests, waterways and wildlife by native forest logging and say that at 20 cents a tree, it is a worthwhile endeavour. That’s right, 20 cents for a 20-80 year old spotted gum, stringybark or Sydney blue gum. 

It’s no surprise that the return is so low when we know these trees are overwhelmingly turned into low-grade woodchips or palings.

This appallingly low return coupled with the increasing environmental damage caused by industrial logging  confirms the need for an urgent end to this destructive and non viable industry. 

In contrast, public plantation pine forests had an average profit of $9,160.39 per hectare in 2019/20 with net profits of over $316 million in the last 5 years. This wood is used to build house frames and other essential goods. It’s processed at highly skilled local sawmills creating quality jobs with a future. 

Last year Forestry Corporation logged 4 times more native forests than pine plantations, but all that destruction generated just 4% of the earnings.

These latest figures prove that native forestry is a dying industry and it’s time to chart a path out of it for the workers and local communities. 

We need to keep the pressure on the Government to get this done, can you help? 

Together we will get this done! 

Yours for the trees, 


ps. For those keen to see the data the GIPA information we got is here.

The harvest figures are here – to find them go to Harvesting and Regeneration – then click the graph symbol on the left hand corner to find the relevant figures – softwood are already visible, hardwood needs to be added up

David Shoebridge

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