Another ex-ACF President, Philip Toyne, has moved on from being a consultant to the industry to becoming a board member of Australia’s second-largest sawmilling and plantation company.
Toyne’s past employer, Neville Smiths Timber at Heyfield in Gippsland, paid him for two years to sell their native forest wood as eco-friendly and convince government officials with helicopter joy rides that all was hunky dory down below. NST has now been merged with Integrated Tree Cropping (ITC), a large plantation company based in WA with operations in Victoria.
One of Toyne’s agendas while he was consultant seemed to be to reel in whoever he could from the environment movement to negotiate the green-tick for logging regrowth forests. He now claims the movement is split on the issue. However, there are only one or two small Victorian groups (much smaller than EEG) who believe logging in native forests should get a green tick. Others are opposed and believe existing plantations are the solution with some small scale specialty timber operations.
Both he and Caswell have dusted down the old line about it being better to log our forests than buy it from overseas rape and pillage countries. Which actually amounts to less than 2% of our sawn timber use – hardly an argument to flog our native forests to oblivion.
Jill / The Age 30-7-04