Federal governments of all persuasions have historically protected and funded Australia’s forest destruction.

Funding casualty wildlife research

Australia is rapidly losing the capacity to carry out world-class wildlife research because of a dramatic decline in funding and loss of jobs for highly qualified scientists. Australian National University ecologist Professor David Lindenmayer said government funding cuts and retrenchments had forced Australian wildlife research “into meltdown”. He said despite alarming and continuing loss of Australia’s biodiversity, there were now fewer jobs and research grants for “the hard, complex science” to address the problem.

University of Melbourne environmental scientist Professor Snow ...

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RFAs all but sunk

The East Gippsland RFA had its eighth anniversary on the 3rd February. We were told all that time ago that it was to protect the forests, but conservation promises have never been honoured while woodchipping volumes have more than doubled. The five yearly review has not happened.

It is now totally obsolete and should be publicly scrapped by the Bracks Government. While the RFA is in place it allows the appalling management of forests to continue unchallenged – as the presence ...

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Gunns pulpmill fast-tracked

The Tasmanian Government will declare Gunn’s planned $1.2 billion pulpmill (one step along the production line from woodchips) as a Project of State Significance. This will allow it to be fast tracked and bypass many environmental and other planning regulations.

It recently released proposed amendments to planning laws to ensure a smooth approvals process for Tasmania’s first paper pulp mill. The Tasmanian Government says the Planning laws don’t account for the complexities of this project (!). It plans to declare it ...

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Dairy money goes to Gippsland sawmill

Federal assistance to help dairy farmers and regions affected by dairy deregulation has been given to a Noojee sawmill.

$350,000 of public money was handed to the mill which is planning to install kilns and produce veneer laminates. They claim they might create 10 jobs from the money.

 

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Election post mortem

We’ve all tried to digest and analyse what happened and why – tried to make sense of the senseless results to the point of depression. Despite our species priding itself on being a complex and intelligent creature, we’re still an animal that has two basic drivers – fear and greed. Those in power know this and play it beautifully. Below are some analyses of the forest side of the election results and information the media overlooked.

Loggers influence on the outcome ...

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Latham Squibs on Forests

In his environment speech on May 27th, Opposition Leader Mark Latham squibbed on protecting Tasmania’s threatened forests and wildlife. Greens Senator Bob Brown said Labor is set to endorse Prime Minister Howard’s agreement to cut down, burn and poison the grandest forests in the southern hemisphere at the fastest rate in history.

Bob Brown welcomed Latham’s endorsement of the Greens campaign for World Heritage listing for Antarctica and to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, but the aim to restore 1500 gigalitres to ...

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New Quoll Quota

New legislative measures for Tiger Quolls are coming in thick and fast, with upgraded “protection” at both State and Federal level. Following the new Action Statement at State level last year, the Feds announced on May 17 that Tiger Quolls are in deep trouble and should be upgraded to “endangered”.

I tell you what, if legislation and listing statements were den sites and prey, Tiger Quolls would be fat and well housed. But no matter how well meaning the intention of ...

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Howard – 30 yrs in politics eight years as Patron Saint of Woodchippers.

The more important anniversary for the nation wasn’t PM Howard’s 30 years on the taxpayers’ teat that was celebrated recently in Sydney, but his eight years as PM and the 6 million tonnes of native forest chips per year he’s approved since 1996.

Conservatively, that’s 45 million tonnes during that time as PM (refer ABARE or BRS bean counters). Howard must be the patron saint of Gunns, Boral and Nippon Unipac. And remember the logging destroys the animals not just the ...

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Howard buy$ more donation$

APM, AMCOR, Australian Paper, Paperlinx, whatever you want to call this huge Latrobe Valley pulp and paper mill, they clearly have very close connections with the state and federal governments. Donations and gifts flow freely between them (see the article here on political donations from woodchip companies).

In April, while touring Gippsland’s now marginal seat of McMillan, John Howard gave another half a million dollars of federal money for Australian Paper to conduct a feasibility study into expanding into a monster ...

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Latham – “keep leveling old growth”

When Mark Latham’s travels took him to Gippsland in February he was quizzed by students about his forthcoming trip to Tasmania. His reply was that he would keep logging old growth: “Well in Tasmania we wouldn’t want to see an end to logging in the old growth forests and I don’t think Bob Brown himself would want that (?!) because that would effectively close down the arts and crafts industry in Tasmania, it’s more about how you do it and ...

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