Ten good reasons to reject the inclusion of native forest biomass in the renewable energy target

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1. If the senate allows the inclusion of ‘waste’ from native forest logging as a biomass fuel for biomass power in the RET, whole trees will be burnt for electricity in furnaces.

 
The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) stated in the 2009 submission to the National Energy Policy Framework:'wherever forests are managed under Commonwealth and/or State forestmanagement regulations, the products of any harvesting operation should be eligible to produce renewable energy under the Expanded National Renewable Energy Target Scheme’.
 
The native forest logging industry will be using whole trees as biomass fuel for biomass power generation, rather than offcuts and residues from the forest floor, which it would be uneconomic to do. 1The mechanised infrastructure allowing residues from the forest floor to be extracted economically is not available, and the cost of manual extraction would be prohibitive.

Burning forests for electricity

Sunday, May 10, 2015

carbon emmissions by fuel typeIt’s crazy!  When the RET is supposed to be bringing emissions down, the Abbott government is prepared to increase them by burning the land’s greatest carbon stores - our forests – in electricity furnaces. This would have higher emissions than coal (per unit of energy produced – see illustration). It would take 200 years to recapture from the atmosphere the carbon released by burning. We don’t have that long. This is not ‘renewable’

Forests store millions of  tonnes of carbon. It’s insanity to burn them and worse still, actually pay  the logging industry to do this under the name of renewable energy and the financial incentives this offers.

It’s in the balance RIGHT NOW. The cross-benchers/independents could hold the key. They are being lobbied heavily by the industry.

YOU CAN HELP  ->  ->  ->  contact these senators (below) and politely ask they consider what the Abbott government really is advocating. There is no ‘waste’ from a forest until it is cut down.  RETs are meant to reduce pollution, not increase it. If the logging industry is looking for a new market it should move into the plantation sector and burn that waste – not the lungs of the planet.

The new th-RET to our forests

Friday, April 24, 2015

A plan to approve the burning of public native forests for electricity generation is back on the federal agenda. It could be passed on May 12 when parliament resumes. Planned changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will include approval of forest furnace electricity to be defined as ‘renewable energy’.

When the ALP were in power, the environment movement managed to stop the previous plan. This time we know the Lib/Nats have pledged to vote for it, and Labor will likely vote against it. It comes down to the independent cross benchers in the Senate. The logging industry has been lobbying the eight cross benchers, so we have to counter the false claims and misinformation that has been circulated.

VicForests busted again

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hensleigh coupe 6th April 2015VicForests has a chronic habit of illegal logging. This time it has been caught illegally logging protected rainforest near Hensleigh Creek on the western edge of the Errinundra Plateau.

It has been investigated but logging continues and the forests need you to act.

Email: lisa.neville@parliament.vic.gov.au
Call: 03 9637 9654
Tweet: @LisanevilleMP
#LogOutOfRainforest #ProsecuteVicForests

The cool temperate rainforest and mixed forest was very easily identified despite it having been cut down.

Thinning trials could create a ring of bonfires around towns

Friday, April 10, 2015

The $1.5 million grant to trail logging as a means of bushfire mitigation by the Abbott Government is a suspicious attempt to dress up fire control as another logging industry subsidy, says a regional conservation group.

Environment East Gippsland says that the Australian Forests Products Association has been lobbying for this for a long time.

Creative accounting – VicForests style

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Paper profits for political appearances

VicForests Annual Report for 2014 is now available here and they are claiming a profit of $3.4 million this year, but this claimed profit is a mirage, created for political reasons.

$2.6m seems to have been generated (on paper at least) by re-valuing "forestry assets", see Note 3c, p.42

Another $1.1m is gained in reduced Road access fees (payable to DEPI/DELWP). Given the volume of timber carted is almost identical to the previous year, it is not clear why this fee would be reduced. Possibly to help a loss making government entity look healthy and profitable.

Bill Gammage and the white fella myth of Aboriginal burning

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Gammage toonBill Gammage has become a cult figure for many people who believe we need to burn the bush ‘as Aborigines did’. He has even convinced quite a few environmentally concerned people through his book The Biggest Estate on Earth that regular burning is needed.  However, what we rarely hear above the unquestioning accolades are the many scientists, academics and ecologists who have looked at his claims and found them to be either well-crafted falsehoods or just plain erroneous. Gammage presents wild guesses as fact, bases claims on selective historical information, exaggerates and is often incorrect in his geography. He has also admitted that he did not interview local indigenous people in areas he wrote about.