Panicking over timber jobs is not a sustainable strategy

How ironic that the timber industry chose March 21st, International Forest Day, to barricade Parliament with logging trucks and demand accelerated logging of the dwindling mature forests of the Central Highlands! When the rest of the world was reflecting on the benefits of forest wilderness for people, for economies and for the planet itself, we were confronted with a macho display calling for conservation regulations to be weakened. Both industry and union are pushing for increased clearfelling of alpine and ...

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Frydenberg’s policies show he can’t see the trees for the wood

Josh Frydenberg’s actions belie his words and show a disregard for the significance of forests to our survival, writes Dr Oisin Sweeney.

ON THE MORNING of 21 March, I got a call from a journalist in response to a media release our organisation, the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA), had put out for International Day of Forests. She wanted me to come on her show to discuss forests — after she spoke to Planet Ark, who were celebrating World Wood ...

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Report reveals true value of Victoria’s unprotected forests

An independent scientific assessment into the conservation value of Victoria’s most-loved tall forests reveals almost half are unprotected and open to logging.

The report debunks industry myths that more than 90% of these forests are somehow protected, they are not. The report reveals that, based on tenure alone, the forest industry has access to at least 42% of ...

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Victoria’s forests are not magic puddings

Matt Ruchel, member of the Forest Industry Task Force and our executive director, explains why sawmills and the pulp and paper industry don’t understand how forests work.

Forests are living ecosystems, not magic puddings, and cannot supply something that doesn’t exist.

The recent declaration by VicForests, the state government’s logging agency, that there is insufficient wood to supply Gippsland sawmills, is hardly surprising – the writing has been on the wall for decades, made worse by the Black Saturday fires.

The blame for ...

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Heyfield timber mill plea misleading

LIKE politician Danny O’Brien, I’m angry about the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods sawmill debacle.

Very angry. This disaster should have been avoided. Successive governments, of all persuasions, have badly mismanaged timber resources.

A sawmill company is now gaming the system, demanding access to timber it knows is not there. Sawmill workers will be losers.

But so will Victorian taxpayers, who are being asked for a $40 million handout to prop up an industry that will never repay its debts.

It is a rescue package ...

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Native forests absorbing more carbon dioxide

New Zealand’s forests and other land areas may be absorbing up to 60% more carbon dioxide than has been calculated, with much of this uptake likely occurring in native forests, NIWA scientists have discovered.

New research led by NIWA atmospheric scientists Drs Kay Steinkamp and Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher, indicates that New Zealand’s forests absorb much more than previously thought, with much of the uptake occurring in the southwest of the South Island.   

Carbon dioxide is a primary greenhouse gas and responsible ...

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Vegetation creates rain – true fact

Just because it’s been done before, doesn’t mean it should be done again. 

European colonisation brought logging into the Bellingen Shire and throughout Australia. It was the keystone for large-scale development providing both housing and an agricultural base.

But more than 200 years later, a comprehensive review of 150 scientific papers on land-clearing and rainfall, conducted by Dailan Pugh of the North East Forest Alliance, concludes deforestation has wreaked havoc on the country’s climate.

In short: vegetation creates precipitation and Clearing Our Rainfall Away summarises the evidence of ...

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Those Logging Our Forests Can’t See The Wood For The Trees

We must return federal environmental protections to native forests.

“When an area of our pristine, irreplaceable forest is logged, it is cut down and bulldozed.” Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Last Friday was a chance to restore balance to the way our native forests are managed — a chance that ...

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VicForests finally admits – the logs aren’t there

Forests are not a Magic Pudding and this fact finally caught up with the government and VicForests in January 2017.  Knocking down forests faster than they can regrow has been the management standard for decades by every logging agency and overseen and excused by every government (Liberal and Labor). After such cut-throat management, the industry and workers are now screaming that their throats have been cut because the limit has been reached; forests can no longer provide the sawlogs demanded.

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Hundreds of jobs at Victorian sawmill under threat over lack of timber supply

Hundreds of jobs are on the line at a sawmill at Heyfield in Victoria’s east if it does not get access to a long-term supply of timber, the ABC understands.

Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH), which employs about 250 staff, processes about 150,000 cubic metres of timber each year supplied by state-owned logging company VicForests.

Spokesperson for ASH, James Lantry, said the owners would meet with staff tomorrow.

The mill ...

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