Forest Issues

Good news on charcoal burner

Friday, April 4, 2003

The threat of a major charcoal burning industry in East Gippsland has finally died.

The company, Australian Silicone, made an announcement on 10th March to the Stock Exchange that it would be withdrawing from feasibility studies and plans to establish a silicone and associated charcoal plant in Australia.

Salvage Logging

Friday, April 4, 2003

Widespread salvage logging for 30 years after the 1939 fires had huge ecological impacts. It favoured cutting fire damaged (but living) larger diameter trees. After a fire, generally there will be a return of a healthy multi-staged forest required to provide maximum habitat. Bushfires usually leave a high level of this structural complexity in the forest. Wildfires typically consume less than 10% of the wood. However, salvage logging (clearfelling) will convert the forest to an even aged, plantation-like structure.

DE-FENDING de fence (plastic contaminates woodchip pile)

Friday, April 4, 2003

The huge Daishowa export woodchip mill at Eden in NSW seems to have had some trouble with plastic and other contaminants getting into their chip pile last year. They of course blame conservationists but it could be the workers lunch wrappers for all we know. When the contaminated chips get to Japan, they can cause major upsets to production, destroying thousands of dollars worth of paper rolls. Quite costly and annoying to the Japanese paper companies. In fact they have threatened to take their business elsewhere.

Ministers launch rubber stamp - "Australian Forestry Standard"

Friday, April 4, 2003

State and commonwealth ministers were lured in to launch a new "Australian Forestry Standard" (AFS) rubber stamp last October. The stamp certifies plundered native forest products. The tick of approval tries to reassure buyers that their timber is environmentally ticketty - boo.

No logging operation anywhere will have to change its plunderous ways to get this tick either. It will approve logging old growth forests and rainforests, endangered species habitat, logging that causes soil erosion, stream turbidity and weed invasion.

Logging and the law - Code of Forest Practices - EPA watchdogs

Friday, April 4, 2003

Investigations by Lawyers For Forests (LFF), have shown that the Code of Forest Practices is vague, unenforceable and needs reform.

Recently the Bracks government put the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in charge of overseeing auditing of the Code, instead of government foresters. This is still a worry. For example, the EPA needs funding and powers to penalise breaches of the Code. Also, there is no plan to review the contents of the Code and address key deficiencies, in particular its unenforceability.

Goolengook Review

Friday, April 4, 2003

Before the election, Bracks promised a moratorium on logging the Goolengook forest while the Victorian Environment Assessment Council (VEAC) carried out an investigation. This is better than what we had, but the terms of reference proposed are very limited. They will focus only on swapping already reserved high value forests for Goolengook. A leaked Government memo obtained by CRoEG encouraged VEAC to swap Goolengook for Potoroo reserves. There were hundreds of submissions to VEAC asking the terms of reference be broadened.

Ingram looks at logging National Parks

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

At the log truck blockade in Melbourne earlier this year, our independent MP, Craig Ingram, made mention of the vast area of good Alpine Ash locked up in the Snowy National Park and how it could have kept the logging industry afloat a while longer.

More recently he gained front page attention in the local news by suggesting we consider logging parks and reserves to stop fires. This solution is being proffered by the USs logging industry to avoid forest fires (how convenient). Now Craig Ingram reckons we too should look at thinning our protected areas.

Basslink and forests

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

The proposal to connect the electricity grids of Tasmania and Victoria (via Basslink) has come under fire in recent weeks due to fears that Victorians will be buying energy generated by the cutting down, pulverising and incineration of Tasmanian forests.

These fears have met with strong denials from the proponent of Basslink (BPL). They argue that only wind and hydro power will be sent through the Basslink cable. In fact Basslink P/L wont have any say as to what goes through that cable.