‘Sawlog driven’ – my arse!

Recently, a Freedom of Information request of VicForests showed that at least 85% of our native forests are used for cheap throw-away paper and cardboard. The last VicForests Annual Report revealed that we tax payers are aiding the industry to log our native forests. This is on top of their existing subsidies. Now we learn that almost 4,745 MCGs of Victoria’s native forests (9,000 ha) are lost to chainsaws every year and most is woodchipped.

The FoI documents request by The Wilderness Society show that, of the logs that come from our forests, sawn timber accounts for only 12%. Another 3% is turned into pallets. The rest is pulped down for paper.

Two paper companies that bought the tree trunks, Australian Paper near Morwell and the Japanese-owned South East Fibre Exports (Daishowa), posted a combined profit of $87 million last financial year, according to the Australian Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

So why is our government selling the bulk of our forests off soooo cheaply at $2-10 a tonne for raw wood? Even as carbon stores at the cheapest rates, they would be worth many times more if left alone.

VicForests justified this by saying selling the bulk of trees cheaply to paper factories made it cheaper to clearfell for the small amount of sawlogs. Therefore, even if one tree a year was sawn into timber, the slaughter of forests would still be defined as ‘sawlog driven’.

Why not write and ask the Minister and Premier to explain. Gavin Jennings, and John Brumby both get their mail at: Parliament House Spring St Melbourne. 3000

Read The Age article Pulped — Vic forests end up as copy paper

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