The Regional Forest Agreements were a multi-million dollar government set-up to pretend the forest battle had been solved by balancing all values. In effect it allowed unlimited woodchipping, paid lip-service to conservation, promised hundreds of jobs that never eventuated and made laws that took any responsibility away from the feds for looking after nationally threatened wildlife.
It effectively took the problematic forest debate away from the Commonwealth government and handed the controversial issue to the states.The RFA was an expensive sham designed to appear balanced and scientific. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In reality, it’s been an 18 year relentless rampage and the forest conflict has intensified. This is just another in a long line of processes the government keep placing before the public, and like all those before it has profited only one party – the profiteers.
These RFA’s have effectively facilitated the destruction of many valuable areas that were critical for the survival and ongoing evolution of species. Jobs have been lost due to the growing preference for pine timber and the unchecked dominance of the jobs-poor woodchipping industry. Environmental obligations have never been honoured. Yet the Abbott government is set to roll them over unquestioningly for another 20 years.