The Clarence Valley Council, with its engine room in Grafton in northern NSW, attempted to bring a motion to support a ban on native forest harvesting on June 26.
This was a reaction to a successful motion passed at the NSW Local Government Association conference in 2022.
Timber NSW was alerted two days before the meeting in June, and with the assistance of Donna Layton of Marshall Notaras Hardwoods, Jason Blanch of Big River Group, Mark Hitchins and Darrell Simmons of Koppers Wood Products and the McPhersons of Dustys Logging, brought 20 local businesses and contacted councillors together resulting in deferral of the motion until October.
The motion also called for industry and public consultation.
Last week, letters began arriving from council officers indicating that submissions had to be in by August 14.
There was no public or industry consultation process or media notification as required.
Again, the industry mobilised, and the submission date was extended to August 28.
Timber NSW, with its local members in the Clarence Valley, has been distributing templates for local timber businesses, non-timber businesses and residents or employees that live in the region for the past week.
CEO Maree McCaskill said a significant and more technical submission that addresses all the points made by the biodiversity committee is being prepared and will be referenced in the templates.
“Through our local members, the community has been activated, and we are supplying the templates to our colleagues at AFPA NSW and the CFMEU,” Ms McCaskill said.
“To date, the community support has been overwhelming, and I think the council meeting in October will hear the voice of the industry and community.
In March, Wood Central reported that an Ernst + Young report, commissioned by the commonwealth-funded North East NSW and South East NSW Regional Forestry Hubs, tracked the hardwood timber industry’s direct and indirect economic impact.
It shows the critical importance of the industry to the Northern NSW economy, contributing $1.8 billion in revenue, adding $700 million to NSW GDP and employing 5700 people in the region.