Forestry Corp rejects claims of environmental destruction

THE Forestry Corporation of NSW has rejected claims by conservation groups that they are getting away with environmental destruction.

It comes after the recent release of figures which showed that during 2011-12, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) found that the corporation had breached its licences and relevant codes 634 times at the 39 sites the authority inspected.

Nature Conservation Council chief executive officer Pepe Clarke said that given the EPA only investigated 39 areas last year, this was an average of 16 breaches in each logging operation, of which there are hundreds every year.

"It is very disturbing that despite the high number of breaches the EPA issued only 17 warning letters and 10 infringement notices," Ms Clarke said.

But most of the breaches were for administrative matters, said Craig Busby, Forestry Corporation manager North East Region.

"All of the non-compliances identified have been followed up and acted on," Mr Busby said.

EPA principal forestry manager, Steve Hartley, confirmed that many of the corporation's non-compliances were administrative breaches, including not completing forms correctly, not including information on registers and not recording all relevant details in field support documents.

Mr Hartley said the matters did not warrant penalty notices or prosecution.



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