10 April, 2009

Stand by promise

Scott Bilby, Kensington
The Age (letter), April 10, 2009

MR DALIDAKIS' statement that the native timber industry is "focused on producing sawlogs" is wrong. When woodchipping began in the 1960s, it was justified on the basis that only "waste wood" from saw-logging would be used. However, woodchipping soon became the main focus.

As demand for woodchips falls, the "waste wood" argument is being used to justify burning native forests for electricity. Perversely, due to concern about greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, the native timber sector could get to emit even more greenhouse emissions and receive a renewable energy subsidy funded by the taxpayer.

Because of community opposition to burning native forest for electricity, the governments of Victoria, NSW and Queensland prohibited it. It is hoped that lobbying by the native timber industry won't weaken the Victorian Government's resolve to stand by a promise it made to the people who elected them.

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