Logging strips water resource: ACF

Northern Victoria’s highest water-producing forests would produce 15 per cent more water by the end of the century if logging ceased immediately, a report will say today.

The increased water flows would benefit the two rivers most important to agriculture and food production in Victoria: the Goulburn and the Murray.

The report, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, will argue that logging montane forests in the Goulburn catchment will be less lucrative in future than maximising the forests’ potential for ...

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Felled old-growth tree ‘500 years old’

A Victorian environment group has radiocarbon-tested a felled old-growth eucalypt and the result suggests the giant gum was at least 500 years old.

The battle to save the old-growth forests of Brown Mountain in Victoria’s far east has been waged by environmentalists since 1989.

When another coupe was cut down early this year, logging opponents decided to ...

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Old forests are global carbon sinks

Old forests – those that are more than 200 years old – are not protected by international treaties because they were thought to be carbon neutral. But a team from Belgium says such forests actually continue to take up carbon dioxide and are therefore important carbon sinks.

Sebastiaan Luyssaert and colleagues at Antwerp University reckon that 15% of the world’s old forests, which are not usually considered when offsetting carbon dioxide emissions, provide at least 10% of the global terrestrial carbon ...

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Retaining forests is cost-effective for reducing carbon emissions

Deforestation in the tropics causes about one quarter of anthropogenic carbon emissions globally. Now, an international team of economists has demonstrated that leaving the trees standing is a very cost-effective way to reduce global carbon emissions.

While afforestation – planting trees – is allowed under the Kyoto Protocol as a way for developed nations to offset their carbon emissions, avoiding deforestation, i.e. leaving the trees standing, is not. Conservationists argue that it should be, pointing out that retaining existing forest has ...

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The climate Budget betrayal

Tuesday night’s Budget was a slap in the face for all those Australians who voted for the Labor Party at the last election in the belief that a new government would be willing and able to make Australia a true global climate leader.

From the day he took leadership of the Labor Party, Kevin Rudd worked hard to present himself in contradistinction to John Howard on climate change. Climate was, more than anything else, supposed to be symbolic of the generational ...

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Pulped, Vic forests end up as copy paper

MOST of the trees logged in Victoria’s native forests last year ended up as pulp, much of it exported to Japan to become photocopying paper. More than 85% of the 1.59 million cubic metres of the state’s native forest logged last financial year, the equivalent of 4745 MCGs, was turned into woodchips, sawdust and waste.

The figures were released after a freedom-of-information request. They show that despite claims the industry is based on providing sawlogs for the state’s building needs, this ...

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Tas forests, pulp mill: Another Rudd betrayal

Federal ALP leader Kevin Rudd took a further step to the right on July 23 when he announced full support for logging old-growth forests in Tasmania. Rudd also announced his support for Gunns Ltd’s $2 billion pulp mill project proposed for the Tamar Valley, north of Launceston, in the federal electorate of Bass.

Responding to Rudd’s announcement, The Wilderness Society (TWS) said Rudd had betrayed the people of Bass. “Most people in the Bass electorate, which Mr Rudd hopes to win ...

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Baillieu linked to mine debacle

LIBERAL Party leader Ted Baillieu has been linked to one of Victoria’s most damaging environmental debacles through his shareholding in a collapsed mining company.

The company, Denehurst, went bust in 1998, leaving the state government with a $6.9million clean-up bill at the Benambra Mine, in Victoria’s far east.

News of Mr Baillieu’s involvement in the Denehurst mine comes as he tries to shake off suggestions his $3.8 million share portfolio would leave him hopelessly compromised if he were elected premier on ...

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Alarm at logging breaches

STATE agencies guilty of logging breaches that felled protected trees and threatened endangered species have escaped punishment despite the environmental watchdog finding systemic problems in at least one forest district.

A special Environment Protection Authority audit found three breaches by VicForests near Cann River in East Gippsland, home to threatened species including the long-footed potoroo.

A fourth was confirmed in the Barmah State Forest, near Echuca, where the Department of Sustainability and Environment logged more than half of a 35-hectare protected nesting ...

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Bureaucrats lied over bushfires: claim

The Department of Sustainability and Environment manipulated media coverage of last summer’s bushfires in the state’s north-east into a “save a town a day” campaign that would portray it as heroic and improve its chances of greater funding, a federal parliamentary inquiry heard yesterday.

In an unscheduled verbal submission, Channel Nine reporter Charles Slade said state government departments, particularly the Department of Sustainability and Environment, tightly controlled the media and manipulated information to an extent that “I thought were clearly at ...

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