Woodchipping

So what are woodchips?

Woodchips are the result of sending tree trunks up a conveyor belt into a gigantic shredder (that takes only 7 seconds to devour an entire log). Trees are quickly transformed into chips half the size of a matchbox, and are what is used to make paper for products like throw away drink cups in Japan or Reflex paper here in Oz. 

Woodchips, pulp and sawdust accounts for at least 91% of all products to come from our native forests. Yet we are told by VicForests that classic porkie that logging is all for the sawn timber for nice tables and chairs and the woodchips are just the waste. Sure. They say what a shame it is to leave it all laying on the ground. Well, if they hadn’t cut all those trees down to start with there’d have been no waste to have to ‘clean up’.

To add to this crime, the government have sold these logs for between 9c and $5 a tonne. If you or I wanted to go cut a trailer load of firewood for ourselves, they’d charge us $20! It seems that the Japanese buyers have an especially cosy deal. Nippon owns both the Reflex paper factory in the Latrobe Valley and the Eden export woodchip mill. Both have been responsible for systematically annihilating the Central Highland’s Mountain Ash forests and East Gippsland’s mixed forests for years.

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.

Pages