Forest Issues

Pasta fuel

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

In the never-ending search for new and innovative ways to make a buck from our native forests, one enterprising shipping company decided to try sending a load of Gippsland and WA woodchips to Italy for fuelling a biomass-burning electricity plant.

After enquiries, we were told that it was a financial disaster and they lost out very badly. This isn't surprising, considering it's not viable to cart chips any distance within Australia for the same purpose.

The idea of exporting forests to help boil Italian pasta should now be permanently wiped off their list of brainstorms.

Fire fallout

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Industry demands public money to salvage logs.

Another logic-lacking media release put out by the logging industry in July called for more and faster access to log all the burnt forest. They claimed they needed government assistance to cart the logs long distances to their mills and maybe even money to help with storage (they have to keep them damp to prevent cracking) until they had orders to sell the logs.

In the next sentence they said that for each day they weren't cutting forests they were losing half a million dollars.

Federal enquiry into the 2003 fires

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

"With all due respect, I do not think this was the biggest bushfire in 100 years I think it's the biggest back-burn in living memory"
Quote from Charles Slade, Channel Nine reporter in the Federal enquiry into the 2003 fires.

Read more here

Logging industry cares for water

Thursday, July 24, 2003

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) has suddenly become concerned for water catchments. It tells us that fast growing eucalypts that come back after a fire, suck up precious water and need to be cut down (all that loverly ash forest in particular). They quote science and figures that we've been using for years. But they don't mention the same effect from fast growing young trees after clearfelling which, after all, "mimics natural occurrences like fire". Right fellas?

How many logs left in the Wombat?

Friday, June 20, 2003

Over a three year period, the estimates volume of logs dropped by 98%! Have the department's claims been miscalculations or gross fraud?

The calculations for the Wombat forest was given the highest score of any forest area. They got a 4 out of 5. Considering it's the tiniest forest area (36,000 compared with 1 million ha in East Gippsland), had more time spent on it and has now only 2,000 ha of loggable forest left, you'd think they should be able to come to within cooee of what they call sustainable yield.

Long overdue regeneration report released

Friday, June 20, 2003

In 1996 the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) provided figures to the public about its 'success' of growing back trees after forests are ravaged by clearfelling. Seven years on and DSE has released a new report to the public.

This report covers regeneration attempts during the period 1993/94-1996/97 and has been delayed for years while DSE tried to sort out problems with its data and produce some credible figures for a change.