This one simple graph tells the story; the orange line shows the declining level of sawn timber coming from native forests – down down down it goes. At the same time the export of native forests has skyrocketed – only dropping slightly due to the slump in the overseas market. This is for a number of reasons but when you look at the blue line – plantation grown eucalypt woodchip exports, it matches up and explains what’s happening. Plantation grown woodchips are preferred for their uniformity and whiteness.
The black line clearly shows that plantation pine and softwood timbers are the preferred choice of timber over native forest sawn timber. It could in fact replace most all of our timber use right now.
So why is it so difficult for the government to make the decision to protect native forests? Because governments don’t make decisions based on what’s economically sensible, environmentally ethical or even electorally popular. Who pulls their strings and are they on the take? This is the $50 million dollar question (possibly about the same as we taxpayers are subsidising the logging industry each year).
This video (below) is for those who want an indepth understanding of where the native forest logging industry is in Australia and where it is heading (for a brick wall). Economist, Dr Judith Ajani from the Australian National University, is Australia’s foremost expert on the plantation and native forest industries, having studied them for decades. The trends are undeniable. This is a long video of about 40 minutes with a lot of explanatory graphs and stats. For the dedicated and curious!