Forest Issues

NRE Blunders Exposed

Sunday, September 2, 2001

REAL LIVE LOONEY TUNES

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.

And they call this auditing?

Sunday, September 2, 2001

After a long battle, NRE has finally coughed up their last detailed audit report on compliance with the Code of Forest Practice (CFP - an environmental code that's a bit of a joke in itself). I can see why they were reluctant to release this report, even though they were obliged to release all the internal CFP audit reports and supporting documents for East Gippsland.

Secret SFRI data

Sunday, September 2, 2001

NRE is currently trying to produce estimates of how much forest and log volumes are available that don't leave everybody rolling around the floor with fits of laughter. The Statewide Forest Resource Inventory (SFRI) aims to replace the old system of estimates on "log volumes" (read "forests").

NRE has produced quite a little PR campaign surrounding the SFRI project including CDs with detailed maps showing where they expect to find most of the trees. You could almost believe that NRE has turned over a new leaf and become open and accountable.

Quoll's extinction looms

Sunday, September 2, 2001

It's not guns and hunting like it was with the Thylacine, but the Spot-tailed (Tiger) Quoll is knowingly being annihilated by logging, poisoning and NRE's latest "protection" plans.

Spot-tailed Quolls, the largest meat-eating marsupials surviving on the mainland, are on a slippery slide to extinction. They have gone >from rare to vulnerable to endangered in Victoria in just the last 10 years! However, the Victorian government's measures to protect the Spot-tailed Quoll have been weakened in a draft rewriting of the 1992 Action Plan.

Good news on biomass - Wood-fired power plan rejected

Sunday, September 2, 2001

Stanwell Corporation is re-designing its proposed cogeneration plant at the Maryborough Sugar Mill, after the Queensland Government rejected its original plans to use native forest waste. It said "any project that depends on the use of native forest hardwood residues as supplementary fuel cannot be supported, even as an interim measure." The Government suggested the company look at using cane trash or other options.

WA's forest "win" was a con-job

Sunday, September 2, 2001

he February WA election saw Labor promise to end 99% of old growth logging immediately and phase out export woodchipping by 2003. However, their commitment to the logging companies to supply huge volumes of logs until the end of 2003 has seen an increase in destruction of other important forests to account for protected old growth. These important conservation areas are being converted mostly to woodchips (90%).

To make up the shortfall in quota from old growth, logging of Jarrah in other regions is estimated to have increased 76%!

Charcoal burner over the border

Sunday, September 2, 2001

Eighteen months ago conservationists successfully fought off a proposal to log and burn the western NSW Pilliga and Goonoo forests to create charcoal for a silicone plant at Lithgow. It was another plan for a massive woodchip operation, only this time in the ironbark and box forests.

$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.

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