Greens and loggers agree

When greens and loggers join forces to try and find solutions, keeping away from government and pollies, it shows that there is no confidence in NRE or Bracks to sort out the mess. The one thing we both agree on is that the NRE are an incompetent lot of dills and the logging industry has had its heyday. It’s time to look at other futures for the region.

The new group formed in Orbost in January has a wide range of ...

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Why value adding isn’t the answer

Would we approve of hunting Panda Bears or Siberian Tigers if their carcasses were used for high value products? No? So it seems strange that there is still a belief that if we could set up a value adding industry, all our problems with logging native forests and old growth would be over.

There is concern that if a large market was found, say overseas, for kiln dried hardwood (paneling or flooring), we could see the continuation of current clearfell logging, ...

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The end of the logging industry as we know it?

The Japanese economic downturn has seen orders for East Gippsland woodchips drop dramatically. The logging industry is now looking perilous. Strong rumours suggest this will be long term and serious. Coupled with this is the planned government cut-backs in log volumes due to past overcutting.

Chip trucks lying idle in Orbost, a blockade of the National Party members office by log trucks, demands for exit packages, stockpiles of chips, markets collapsing – who’d have thought wed see the day.

When woodchip markets ...

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Sweet RFA for our environment

Forests across Australia have been exempt from federal logging laws since RFAs were signed. Above is a destroyed stand of forest in the Acheron – logged under the RFA. Rare and threatened species have continued to be killed and habitats destroyed.

The Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) sprang from the Earth Summit conference in Rio de Janiero in 1992 where Australia signed a ‘Global ...

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Massive increase in woodchip production

Figures released by DNRE in August have revealed a massive increase in woodchipping for the second year in a row. Bracks allowed Victorian loggers to rip out 1.09 million m3 of residual wood – a new record for the State. He still claims the RFA is balanced!

At the same time as woodchip volumes are skyrocketing, the volumes of sawlogs have dropped substantially from 800,000 m3 in 1999/2000 to only 650,000 m3 in 2000/2001. The royalty income for all this has ...

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WA’s forest “win” was a con-job

he February WA election saw Labor promise to end 99% of old growth logging immediately and phase out export woodchipping by 2003. However, their commitment to the logging companies to supply huge volumes of logs until the end of 2003 has seen an increase in destruction of other important forests to account for protected old growth. These important conservation areas are being converted mostly to woodchips (90%).

To make up the shortfall in quota from old growth, logging of Jarrah in ...

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Charcoal burner over the border

Eighteen months ago conservationists successfully fought off a proposal to log and burn the western NSW Pilliga and Goonoo forests to create charcoal for a silicone plant at Lithgow. It was another plan for a massive woodchip operation, only this time in the ironbark and box forests.

The proponents have been quietly sniffing about for alternative forests to plunder ever since. News just in states that the charcoal burner could go ahead at Mogo on the NSW south coast near Batemans ...

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