Saturday 21st April 2007
For comment: Jill Redwood 03 5154 0145
The Bracks government is planning to increase carbon emissions by allowing the burning of Victoria’s native forests to produce electricity, despite forests being seen as critical carbon stores and water producers.
“This week the ALP tabled a new set of Victorian Renewable Energy Target rules that could see native forests burnt for power generation”, said Jill Redwood, Coordinator of Environment East Gippsland. “All Victorian’s should be outraged about this sudden change of policy. Mr Bracks is now planning to cremate our native wildlife and incinerate the lungs of the land to generate electricity. They’ll need a good spin doctor to sell this one to the public.”
“Throwing forests into burners to power turbines shows the government has gone totally insane In 2002, ALP policy prohibited the burning of native forests for power generation, but now their proposed rules open the door for native forests to be burnt. The government’s definition of ‘waste’ has allowed over 75% of all wood taken from a clearfelled forest to be woodchipped. We have to wonder if power stations will also get our forests for 11c a tonne as ‘waste’.”
“This is a treacherous new direction that would increase drought and weather extremes in the state”, said Jill Redwood. “Does Mr Bracks not understand the simple concept of climate shift?”
“The forests of eastern Victoria need immediate protection as wildlife refuges, clean water catchments and carbon stores. These are public forests and must not be stealthily sold off to electricity companies under the guise of ‘renewable energy’.