Forest Issues

Forests at a tipping point – into the furnaces

Friday, June 26, 2015

Furnace

A new war has been declared on our native forests.

The Senate, with the help of Labor has passed legislation that not only allows the liquidation of native forest trees in electricity furnaces, but defines it as ‘renewable energy’ and thereby hands the logging and power industries credits (financial support) to assist this new excuse for unfettered forest obliteration. The woodchip industry at least had preferences for species type, but anything that burns will now be fair game.

40 scientists alert cross-benchers to RET clause

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The acceptance of a perverse definition of ‘wood waste’ and ‘renewable’ is being questioned by 40 Australian scientists in a joint letter to the Federal cross benchers today. They are alarmed that once the door opens on burning Australia’s native forests in power furnaces, it could see our forest heritage drawn in to supplying an export demand to satisfy the expanding number of biomass burners overseas.

UN gets it wrong on forests

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The respected international think tank Chatham House has released part of a research paper which shows the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is wrong. This assumes burning trees and forests as biofuel for electricity is carbon neutral and therefore climate friendly. It’s a fairly obvious error to almost any thinking person. There are some major global political pressures at play here working to ensure forest destruction continues.

VicForests plans EG forests as industrial furnace fuel

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Big River East GippslandA leaked three-year business plan of VicForests reveals multi-million dollar taxpayer losses among other startling revelations. East Gippsland is mentioned as the most uneconomic region having made losses of $5.5 million p.a. for years. This region supports the most exquisite and wildlife rich forests in SE Australia - that have been clearfelled to sell as ‘waste’ – and we are paying them to carry out this destruction. But that’s not the worst of it.

Ten good reasons to reject the inclusion of native forest biomass in the renewable energy target

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1. If the senate allows the inclusion of ‘waste’ from native forest logging as a biomass fuel for biomass power in the RET, whole trees will be burnt for electricity in furnaces.

 
The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) stated in the 2009 submission to the National Energy Policy Framework:'wherever forests are managed under Commonwealth and/or State forestmanagement regulations, the products of any harvesting operation should be eligible to produce renewable energy under the Expanded National Renewable Energy Target Scheme’.
 
The native forest logging industry will be using whole trees as biomass fuel for biomass power generation, rather than offcuts and residues from the forest floor, which it would be uneconomic to do. 1The mechanised infrastructure allowing residues from the forest floor to be extracted economically is not available, and the cost of manual extraction would be prohibitive.

Health and environment studies commence in Gippsland Lakes

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Groups like the Gippsland Environment Group and environmentalists like Ross Scott and health professionals like Dr. Jo McCubbin have been raising concerns about the mercury levels in fish in the Gippsland Lakes for many years.

DELWP Media release

A study to assess mercury levels in fish of the Gippsland Lakes will commence from tomorrow, followed by a broader environmental study into the accumulation of mercury and other heavy metals in the sediment of the Lakes.

Burning forests for electricity

Sunday, May 10, 2015

carbon emmissions by fuel typeIt’s crazy!  When the RET is supposed to be bringing emissions down, the Abbott government is prepared to increase them by burning the land’s greatest carbon stores - our forests – in electricity furnaces. This would have higher emissions than coal (per unit of energy produced – see illustration). It would take 200 years to recapture from the atmosphere the carbon released by burning. We don’t have that long. This is not ‘renewable’

Forests store millions of  tonnes of carbon. It’s insanity to burn them and worse still, actually pay  the logging industry to do this under the name of renewable energy and the financial incentives this offers.

It’s in the balance RIGHT NOW. The cross-benchers/independents could hold the key. They are being lobbied heavily by the industry.

YOU CAN HELP  ->  ->  ->  contact these senators (below) and politely ask they consider what the Abbott government really is advocating. There is no ‘waste’ from a forest until it is cut down.  RETs are meant to reduce pollution, not increase it. If the logging industry is looking for a new market it should move into the plantation sector and burn that waste – not the lungs of the planet.

Life after the RFA

Monday, April 27, 2015

Since the East Gippsland RFA was signed in February 1997, we have seen:

  • licences issued for unlimited woodchip exports from the region
  • a five year permanent blockade of the Goolengook heritage listed old growth forest. Hundreds of people were arrested. Politically and financially this was costly to the government and what remained was eventually protected.
  • areas which have previously been identified by the government as having national and state significance for biological values have been logged.

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