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

The minister, the possum and the sawmill

Sometimes it takes a cute and furry species on the brink of extinction to get people thinking about nature protection laws.

And when a federal politician recommends the furry creature’s threatened species status be downgraded to allow its dwindling forest habitat to be logged, well that’s sure to get the public’s attention.

There has been intense public concern about the closure of the sawmill at ...

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Dispute over Heyfield logging deal pulls in senior cabinet

The impending closure of Heyfield sawmill has pitted senior federal ministers against each other, a premier, farmers and conservationists. By Karen Middleton.

In the federal government, Josh Frydenberg is, among other things, the minister for protecting wildlife and saving trees. In the agriculture portfolio, his Nationals colleague Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is effectively the minister for cutting them down.

When Joyce launched his defence of Victoria’s Gippsland timber industry last week, he portrayed it as the state government “putting possums before ...

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Frydenberg’s policies show he can’t see the trees for the wood

Josh Frydenberg’s actions belie his words and show a disregard for the significance of forests to our survival, writes Dr Oisin Sweeney.

ON THE MORNING of 21 March, I got a call from a journalist in response to a media release our organisation, the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA), had put out for International Day of Forests. She wanted me to come on her show to discuss forests — after she spoke to Planet Ark, who were celebrating World Wood ...

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‘Carbon neutral’ forest resource grab: A corporate detour in climate change race

The Coalition Government can’t resist the logging industry, subsidising the destruction of forests as “carbon neutral” at the expense of pesky wind, solar or other annoying competitors, writes Frances Pike.

SUBSTITUTING wood biomass, burning it with coal and calling it “renewable energy”, just because trees regrow, doesn’t make it carbon neutral.

Instantly, the combustion emits carbon.

Logging to supply the furnaces destroys forest ecosystems.

Living, they absorb and store exponentially more carbon as they mature, through ever spreading canopies, bigger trunks and branches, and ...

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Green Credentials of Burning Forest Biomass for Energy Demolished by New, Independent Chatham House Report

Findings: Subsidized wood power plants actually emit more carbon than burning coal

An important new report issued overnight in London has demolished the assumption that forest biomass should be considered a carbon-neutral source of energy. This has major implications for climate policy in Australia, where native forest biomass energy was controversially included into the Renewable Energy Target.

The report from the respected independent think tank Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, says that:

The assumption that forest biomass should be considered ...

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Those Logging Our Forests Can’t See The Wood For The Trees

We must return federal environmental protections to native forests.

“When an area of our pristine, irreplaceable forest is logged, it is cut down and bulldozed.” Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Last Friday was a chance to restore balance to the way our native forests are managed — a chance that ...

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East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement given last-minute extension

The first of the controversial Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) to expire has been extended for 12 months.

The agreements were signed by state and federal governments between 1997 and 2001.

A 20-year old East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement was set to expire on Friday, but will now continue for one year to allow for further review.

RFAs were created to manage the use of native forests on public ...

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Things fall apart: why do the ecosystems we depend on collapse?

People collapse, buildings collapse, economies collapse and even entire human civilizations collapse. Collapse is also common in the natural world – animal populations and ecosystems collapse. These collapses have the greatest impact on us when they affect resources our industries depend on, leaving ecosystems in tatters and sometimes ruining local economies.

In a new paper, I look at two natural resource industries – fisheries and forestry – that are highly susceptible to collapse.

From the infamous 1980s collapse of the Canadian cod ...

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Feral cats now cover 99.8% of Australia

Feral population of up to 6.3 million, at a density of one cat for every 4 sq km ‘underlines how potent they are for wildlife’

Feral cat-free areas of Australia are limited to a few islands, of which 12 ...

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Legal exemption for logging – extended

Premier Daniel Andrews secretly extended the 20 year RFA logging deal for East Gippsland with no review, assessment or public knowledge, one day before it was due to expire. This is an astoundingly irresponsible move considering that in the week before, VicForests admitted there are not enough forests left to keep the sawlog supply going.

What’s the RFA?

Twenty years ago on 3rd of February 1997 the logging of East Gippsland’s forests was ...

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