Working to restore a sustainable timber industry in Baradine

4 December, 2019
Working to restore a sustainable timber industry in Baradine Image

I recently visited Baradine with Shooter Fishers and Farmers Upper House Member Mark Banasiak, to tour the Baradine Sawmill owned by the Paul family to discuss the impediments to reopening the mill.  Reopening the mill would see 30 direct and indirect jobs in Baradine. 

Patrick Paul showed Mark, Mayor Dennis Todd and myself around the site and discussed the reasons the mill was forced to shut. Primarily the mill closed because of restrictions on which timber compartments (management zones) the Paul's could access. 

The shutting off of viable timber compartments goes against science that says the Pilliga needs to be thinned to allow big trees to grow and viable understories being allowed to flourish by thinning.  Selective timber harvesting that preserves trees with nesting sites and non-target species is all that is being asked for.

Mark has prepared draft legislation to allow access to the Pilliga on the terms mentioned above.

The Pilliga needs to be thinned and fuel load on the ground need to be managed for firewood. The risk is an inferno will destroy all the timber and native animals if we don’t return to better management of these forests.

Restoring a sustainable timber industry will have massive positive impacts for the Baradine community. Over 30 jobs, dollars flowing through businesses, and importantly good ecological outcomes.

I also met with Nea Worrell and ladies from the Baradine CWA. These ladies are providing some much needed assistance through their Drought Pantry and have already helped around 140 families with free groceries and shopping vouchers.  They are a hard working group of great country women and I am proud to represent them.

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