Economics of Logging

Big mess made bigger

Saturday, May 4, 2002

No one could have made a bigger mess of the problem than has just been announced.  Small voluntary cut back over umpteen years, introduce cable logging in steep old growth forests, hand out another huge swag of subsidies to a dying industry, allow unlimited woodchipping to continue, consider large consumers of wood like charcoal plants and biomass burners to be set up when STILL, no one knows how much is out there.

Logging regrowth for chips

Still using flawed figures

Saturday, May 4, 2002

The figures are as flawed as they have been for the past 30 years and this 'solution' is only pushing the problem further down the track. In not too many years, the government might be forced to admit to another stuff-up - too late. In the meantime, they'll be going hammer and tong as ever on the woodchip front.  

Why value adding isn't the answer

Sunday, January 6, 2002

Would we approve of hunting Panda Bears or Siberian Tigers if their carcasses were used for high value products? No? So it seems strange that there is still a belief that if we could set up a value adding industry, all our problems with logging native forests and old growth would be over.

There is concern that if a large market was found, say overseas, for kiln dried hardwood (paneling or flooring), we could see the continuation of current clearfell logging, with the only difference being that the product would make more profit than woodchips do.

The end of the logging industry as we know it?

Friday, December 28, 2001

The Japanese economic downturn has seen orders for East Gippsland woodchips drop dramatically. The logging industry is now looking perilous. Strong rumours suggest this will be long term and serious. Coupled with this is the planned government cut-backs in log volumes due to past overcutting.

Chip trucks lying idle in Orbost, a blockade of the National Party members office by log trucks, demands for exit packages, stockpiles of chips, markets collapsing - who'd have thought wed see the day.

The environment Sweet RFA

Monday, October 1, 2001

The Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) sprang from the Earth Summit conference in Rio de Janiero in 1992 where Australia signed a ‘Global Statement of Principles on Forests’. The federal and State governments (excepting Tasmania) then signed onto the National Forest Policy Statement six months later. This policy stated that there would be a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system in place by 1995 to protect old growth and wilderness.

NRE Blunders Exposed

Sunday, September 2, 2001


Years ago, a Warner Bros Loony Tune TV cartoon featured the Acme Toothpick Factory. Whole logs were shoved into the jaws of a huge machine that ground the log down to a tiny toothpick, leaving a huge pile of waste. Back then, this was pretty funny. Now that NRE has adopted the Loony Tune Toothpick Factory idea as policy, it's pretty alarming.

If you want an idea of how far down the Loony Tune Toothpick Factory track the Victorian Government has gone, pick up a copy of the Timber Pricing Review discussion paper.

$2.5m for Creswick forest facilities

Monday, July 23, 2001

Victoria's logging industry has received yet another massive tax-payer funded gift - a $2.5 million grant to build new facilities at the Creswick Forest Science Centre. A new office, laboratory and lecture theatre will ultimately accommodate a further 25 scientists and amenities for up to 100 people.

Creswick conducts research and development into logging and tree growing and seems to give budding young forestry students some form of frontal lobotomy that transforms them into tree counters and graders when they finally graduate.