The new th-RET to our forests

Friday, April 24, 2015

A plan to approve the burning of public native forests for electricity generation is back on the federal agenda. It could be passed on May 12 when parliament resumes. Planned changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will include approval of forest furnace electricity to be defined as ‘renewable energy’.

When the ALP were in power, the environment movement managed to stop the previous plan. This time we know the Lib/Nats have pledged to vote for it, and Labor will likely vote against it. It comes down to the independent cross benchers in the Senate. The logging industry has been lobbying the eight cross benchers, so we have to counter the false claims and misinformation that has been circulated.

Review of government burn targets

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lonnie - the long nosed potorooThere will be a review of the 5% burn target, with the report delivered by the end of March (6 weeks)! 

The Minister’s media release says:

“The review will examine a risk-based approach to bushfire fuel management against the existing hectare-based performance target program. The Inspector-General for Emergency Management has been asked to deliver his report by the end of March 2015

Increased logging dressed up as ‘bushfire mitigation’?

Monday, January 5, 2015

logging as bushfire mitigationThis is something to watch. In a Productivity Commission draft report cited in early January 2015, the suggestion was that more needs to be spent on bushfire mitigation exercises (to save on disaster relief and recovery). Sounds reasonable? But this suggested $200M mixed with the lobbying influence of the Australian Forest products Association (AFPA), and Abbott’s anti-environment doctrine, this could well translate into giving money to states that will ‘thin’ native forests and National Parks, supposedly to reduce fire threat and then use the thinnings to fuel electricity furnaces.

Abbott's slush fund for polluters

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tony Abbott’s plan to deal with climate change is very worrying. It gives incentives to burn native forests and will term this as ‘renewable energy’! Abbott is handing a slush fund to industry dressed up as climate action.

To date no one has wanted to build a forest furnace to generate electricity because they are not economically viable. Currently they are not allowed Renewable Energy Certificates nor can they earn carbon credits under the Carbon Farming Initiative Act which states they aren’t allowed to destroy forests to burn.

Leadbeater’s Action Statement

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Earlier this year the Leadbeater’s Possum Advisory Group (LPAG) delivered its reports to the state government. The group had been established by the government to make recommendations to support “the recovery of the Leadbeater’s Possum while maintaining a sustainable timber industry”. The group included no specialist expertise, being composed entirely of government employees and representatives of the logging industry. Predictably its recommendations were mediocre and all were accepted by the government.

Suing the government again - for the owls

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Suing 4 Owls

Environment East Gippsland is suing the state government for a fourth time! We lodged the legal papers on Monday 22nd Sept.

The summer fires destroyed thousands of hectares of critically important habitat for East Gippsland’s threatened wildlife. This region is the stronghold for large forest owls yet DEPI refuses to urgently review the protection measures for them as they are obliged to.

Smoke and errors

Thursday, September 11, 2014

So why isn’t the Government accepting recommendation 5 of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry? Peter Ryan claims it’s just too difficult to get carbon monoxide monitoring equipment to a site within 24 hours. Yeah? How long does it take to drive a hand held CO monitoring device from Melbourne to Victoria’s far ends? 6-7 hours max.

recommendation 5 of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry