20 October, 2005

ARTICLE: Sawmillers fear compo fund shortfall

20/10/2005. ABC News Online

Tasmania's country sawmillers can now apply for government compensation to upgrade their equipment to handle plantation logs.

The $4 million compensation package was promised in the Community Forest Agreement (CFA), along with funding for softwood and hardwood operations.

Stephen Cornish, from the Country Sawmillers' Association, says many owners have indicated they will phase out of the industry, but there may not be enough funds to satisfy everyone who wants to continue.

"We've known for a long time that the resource is changing and is going to change and we know there are some mills that are operating now, simply won't be competitive in five, 10, 15 years' time," he said.

"So it's a matter of evolution I guess that these mills will disappear from the scene.

"The sawmillers I've been speaking to are looking to upgrade or changing their gear.

"You're talking about capital expenditure of equipment that is quite expensive, so the $4 million I suspect won't go very far and will go fairly quickly.""


05 October, 2005

LETTER: Dingo Creek logging continues

Author: Tony Hastings

Letter submitted to the Age follows:

The logging at Dingo Creek on the Errinundra Plateau continues, destroying old-growth forest, threatened species habitat and rainforest values within a National Heritage sited site, a Rainforest Site of National Significance and
so called “Special Management Zone”.

These values include “Catchment integrity” and “Scientific value,” which are undoubtable being lost due to the logging. Despite being warned in 2001 that this logging was contrary to the Code of Forest Practice and Management Plan, the DSE refuse to modify the logging plans.

Following arrests at the 2001 blockade, 2 botanists testified that rainforest had been logged and the Supreme Court of Victoria ruled that logging contrary to the Code of Practice is illegal. Why is the DSE allowed to show such contempt for environmental laws?

A private landowner who clears forest like this would be prosecuted.

For more information call 0427 534 548

03 October, 2005

LETTER: Logging blunders unacceptable

Author: Peter Campbell

10 March 2005

Not published

Recent “logging blunders” by The Department of Sustainability and Environment (The Age, 3/10) clearly demonstrate yet again that the Department is not capable of managing their conflict of interest between protecting our forests and logging them too.

It is simply unacceptable that these blunders have led to the destruction of our forest that is supposed to be protected, which is home to threatened species such as the long-footed potoroo. With friends like this, our forest doesn’t need enemies.

In addition, breaches of the so-called “code of forest practices” have been occurring for years without adequate policing by the Department. No substantive action has been taken about breaches that have been detected over the last two decades.

Rather than conducting more audits, Environment Minister John Thwaites needs to taken urgent and immediate action and ensure that the Department is prosecuted for all breaches.

He should also reinstate separate management for our National Parks, old growth forests and water catchments that are simply too precious and important to be ignored by a department that is intent on logging at any cost.

ARTICLE: Logging blunders to be investigated

Some more evidence of incompetence and possible corruption with the innaccurately named "Department of Sustainability and Environment". Logging old growth forests - and National Parks - is clearly not sustainable or good for the environment.

Original article available here.

Excerpt of text from article follows:

Logging blunders to be investigated
By Adam Morton

October 3, 2005

THE Victorian Government will today ask the state's environment watchdog to investigate at least two logging blunders that felled protected trees in national and state parks, putting endangered species at risk.

Environment Minister John Thwaites will instruct the Environment Protection Authority to audit breaches in the Barmah State Forest, near Echuca, and the Errinundra National Park in East Gippsland. The Department of Sustainability and Environment conceded it logged more than half of a protected habitat for the endangered superb parrot in the Barmah, and VicForests felled at least 250 square metres at Errinundra, home to threatened species including the long-footed potoroo.

The minister's intervention came after a coalition of environmentalists led by the Victorian National Parks Association called for the agencies to be prosecuted over four alleged logging breaches.

. . . continues