Eco-timber certification label loses eco-credibility

An East Gippsland sawmill is in the process of applying for the very same timber certification label that has been condemned by environment groups across the country this week, after the logging of WA’s 600 year old Karri forests was given a ‘green tick’.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global timber certifying body which outsources the inspection of forest logging operations. The auditors measure a number of criteria to ensure the wood is obtained in a socially and environmentally ...

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Will our forests be burnt to warm tomato crops?

This seemingly good news story could be a disaster. Energy development company HRL and two other companies are planning 60 ha of hydroponic greenhouses heated by 220,000 tonnes of wood ‘waste’. Coincidentally, it’s the same amount the government is currently trying to find a buyer for to save the ailing East Gippsland logging industry.

Artists impression of Avalon greenhouses

This new intense food production site is to be built at Avalon and ...

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Brown Mt giant felled by fire contractors

What’s this called Ryan Smith? Brown Mt giant felled by fire contractors

A bulldozer driver paid to carry out restoration work (at least $200 an hour we hear) goes 40m inside Nat Park boundary @ Brown Mountain – fells old growth tree opposite the EEG “Valley of the Giants” walk track.

Can this be regarded as ‘fire safety’? Or could it be interpreted as delayed revenge for the successful court ...

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A leaked DEPI report reveals its system for allocating millions of dollars of contract work is poor value for money

The east Gippsland fires have been estimated to have cost the government (tax payer) up to $140 million to manage. We are hearing that so much of this was reckless waste – machines laying idle at $2000 a day or more, bulldozers left to do their own thing just to keep them employed. Strike teams sent from across the state for a day of ‘look-see’ or waiting around, to drive back the next day.

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State kept alpine park rare-plant survey to itself

The state government has withheld from the Commonwealth a survey of rare and threatened plants of an area of the Alpine National Park earmarked for a cattle grazing trial.

It is believed scientists at the state’s biodiversity research body – the Arthur Rylah Institute – were asked to look for rare and threatened plants in different parts of the alpine park as part of research for the high country grazing project. Their results were outlined in an unreleased report from May ...

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Koala injuries and deaths certified as eco-friendly!

FSC certified timber dead koalaThousands of Koalas have been knowingly killed and maimed in harvesting machines and shredders by a plantation company for years. This has highlighted the deaths and horrific injuries of thousands of native animals that go on under the label of certified environmentally-friendly products, in both plantations and native forests.

Koalas have highlighted just the tip of the iceberg on this issue.

Australian Bluegum Plantations (ABP) which ...

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Plantations bulldozed and burnt

the blue gum MIS plantations from western Vic (put in at our expense) are being bulldozed and burnt This is so insane it seems it can’t be real; while primary native forests are bulldozed and burnt over in East Gippsland (at our expense), the blue gum MIS plantations from western Vic (put in at our expense) are being bulldozed and burnt – because there’s no market for their ...

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Tasmanian Forest Deal Richard Flanagan I don’t agree

So Julia Gillard has declared that she wants the parties who started the so-called Tasmanian forest peace process “to do everything they can to use their abilities to silence those who haven’t gone with the mainstream consensus”.

To silence.

I lived with the silence of Tasmania for too many years. And now the leaders of The Wilderness Society, Environment Tasmania, the ACF and the Tasmanian Greens have signed up to a deal that seeks to achieve what even Gunns failed in doing: ...

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Nano fibres & lignin from tree cellulose

Nippon, owners of the Eden woodchip mill and the Maryvale pulp and paper factory that makes Reflex paper, recently announced it will be building a cellulose nano-fibers production facility using wood pulp as the raw material. These fibres are supposed to have special qualities like high elasticity, barrier performance to gas, including oxygen, can be used as reinforcements and thickeners. Nippon says that being from plant fibres, they are eco-friendly.

Read about the announcement at…

There is also excitement in the ...

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High-value opportunities for lignin

Addressing markets worth more than $130 billion worldwide, researchers say that lignin from trees could become the main renewable aromatic resource for the chemical industry in the future. The first opportunity could emerge as early as 2015 from the direct substitution of phenol in most of its industrial applications: phenolic resins, surfactants, epoxy resins, adhesives or polyester.

“The industry is just beginning to scratch the surface of lignin’s potential,” explains Frost & Sullivan consultant, Nicolas Smolarski: “It is the only renewable ...

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