Gary Demby, Toolangi
The Age, Letter, 15/12/2011
PROVIDING longer-term contracts to customers of VicForests will surely help build business confidence in much of Victoria. For decades state governments have reduced the amount of forest available to the industry. Sometimes this was for ecological reasons based on good science. Sometimes it was for political reasons. This plan, from what I can tell, will not increase the amount of forest available to the industry. What it will do is provide a clear and effective regulatory framework for forest management and wood supply. We also have to recognise that the forest and wood products industry is largely a manufacturing industry, exposed to the high Australian dollar and cheap imports. As the seventh most forested nation in the world, it is a joke we have a $1.9 billion trade deficit in wood and paper products. Hopefully this policy helps fix this.
JUST as we were deriving some meagre encouragement from the Durban talks, along come our governments to bring us back to reality (''Dirty power plant rules abandoned'' and ''Timber gets long-term commitment'', The Age, 14/12).
Nick Jans, Marysville
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