21 October, 2010

In forestry's future

Cinzia Mariolini, Marlo
The Age (article), 21 October 2010

A HISTORIC decision has just been made by the Tasmanian timber industry, with Gunns finally moving out of native forests and agreeing to process only plantation wood.

The industry also agreed not to use native forest wood ''waste'' to burn for electricity - another significant decision.

Let's now see how long it will take for its Victorian counterparts to show similar courage and long-term vision.

With proper management and careful placement, plantations in Victoria can already meet 98 per cent of the total timber and woodchip/paper market demand. So there is really no excuse to continue clear-felling and industrial-scale logging in native forests.

Given the irreversible (and incontrovertible) environmental damage caused by native forest clear-felling and the fact that just a fraction of the Victorian workforce is employed by the logging industry, there is no justification left for the government to allow the destruction of everyone's precious environmental assets for the exclusive profit of a minority group.

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