Logging Industry

East Gippsland's predicament

Monday, May 6, 2002

Using East Gippsland as an example, a reduction in sawlogs does not mean an equal reduction in woodchips - f'rinstance, while there's been a 20% drop in sawn timber (from market forces), the chip volumes have increased 100%! In Tambo forests next door, they've had a 700% increase in chips!  Next year's plans for log volumes will see 20% of logs sold for sawing and 80% for chipping. So a 43% cut on 20% won't make a huge difference. Eleven and a half  thousand hectares are still on the drawing board for obliteration.

Logging cut-back - con job

Thursday, April 4, 2002

Don't be deluded, the latest logging 'cut-backs' are little more than a huge spin-doctoring excercise. It's business-as-usual for the big boys with a few small players out of the show. Not one tree will be saved. Their slight reduction in the small end of the industry doesn't mean a reduction in area, it's just a slight reduction in the time it will take to obliterate our forests. There's a few hidden nasties in there too.

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.

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.

100% partly or fully rehabilitated

Monday, July 2, 2001

For several years, NRE has been making available to the public a summary of its audit of the Code of Forest Practices (environmental guidelines to adhere to while ripping down ancient forests). NRE must hope that people will be left with the feeling that our forests are in the best possible hands - and that no one would bother to analyse their data. Ha!