Logging of native forests has cost NSW taxpayers $78 million over the past six years for a declining industry that is also a primary risk for the state's rising number of threatened species, according to a report by The Australia Institute.
The losses have been clocked up by the hardwood unit of the Forestry Corporation of NSW in the six years to the 2014-15 financial year. About 95 per cent of the division's revenue comes from logging in native forests rather than hardwood plantations, the report said.
With recent changes to the renewable energy target, the burning of native forest wood waste can once again earn credits for generating clean energy, but there's dispute about whether burning native forest waste for energy is 'carbon neutral'. Background Briefing reports.
A secret deal by the former State Government to supply Australian Paper with timber at a discounted fixed price has shed further light on the financial vulnerability of the Maryvale Mill.
A Department of Treasury briefing, seen by The Express as supplied by The Age, reveals Maryvale Mill owner Australian Paper had failed to hand over $10 million that VicForests said it was owed.
In a significant concession to settle the stoush - which was described by one well-placed industry source as "an exercise in corporate socialism" - former agriculture minister Peter Walsh agreed to fix the price for the mill.
Burning native timber for renewable energy could prop up an ailing native forest industry, but the forests could earn millions in carbon credits if they’re not logged. Both options are hotly disputed and the argument opens a new front in the long running and politically-charged ‘forest wars’. Gregg Borschmann investigates.