Australia's 'dirtiest' power station considers 'clean energy' biomass burning option

Thursday, July 23, 2015

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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.

Our native forest regulations need to move with the times

Monday, July 20, 2015

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The aftermath of a regen burn at a central highlands logging coupe

The RFAs governing forestry activities have failed to protect both the industry and the environment, says Rice. Credit: ABC Environment

The rules governing our native forests, RFAs, were drawn up nearly 20 years ago. They need to be thoroughly reviewed and updated to reflect the changes in the forestry industry that have occurred in the last two decades.

Coalition's secret deal to protect AP

Monday, July 20, 2015

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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.

A burning question

Sunday, July 19, 2015

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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.

Environment group wins legal battle to protect habitat for threatened powerful, sooty, masked owls

Saturday, July 18, 2015

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Powerful Owl in Canberra's Haig Park

The settlement was a significant win for the Powerful Owl, Ms Redwood said. Supplied: Geoffrey Dabb

The Victorian Government has agreed to set aside 2,000 hectares of forest in East Gippsland to help protect three threatened species of owl.

Environment East Gippsland took legal action against the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and state-owned VicForests over the issue.

Environment East Gippsland settles with Victorian DELWP over owls

Friday, July 17, 2015

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Sooty Owl

Done deal: An agreement between the State Government, VicForests and Environment East Gippsland will see increased measures to protect the threatened sooty owl.

LOGGING will be put on hold in parts of Victoria’s forests to protect three species of threatened owl.

Victorian native forest timber offered at discount price to Japanese mill

Friday, July 17, 2015

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Australian Paper Morwell

Australia Paper worker Darrin Canning at the Morwell site. Photo Jason South

Victoria's native timber was offered to a Japanese-owned paper mill at a discounted fixed price as part of a secret government deal to end a protracted multimillion-dollar dispute over unpaid debts.

Logging activists fined despite their surveys revealing flaws in the law

Monday, July 13, 2015

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Three environmental activists have been fined for surveys they carried out in a logging coupe in East Gippsland, though the state government conceded it needed to bolster timber harvesting rules following the activists' report.

The activists from the Goongerah Environment Centre are facing fines of $440 each for entering the coupe in late April, which they say they will likely fight in court.

Victorian timber bound for China under secret Andrews Government rescue plan

Monday, July 13, 2015

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VicForests has been left without a market for hundreds of thousands of tonnes of residual timber. Photo: Andrew Quilty

Victoria's low grade native timber could soon be packed into shipping containers bound for China and other cut-price countries for processing under a plan to help ailing state timber company VicForests.

Current strategies not doing enough to protect endangered species, conservationists say

Friday, July 10, 2015

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Swift Parrot

Conservationists are concerned the habitat of the swift parrot is not protected. (Chris Tzaros)

Governments across Australia are being urged to do more to protect endangered species, amid warnings land clearing and mining are threatening key habitats.