Gas prices could kill off Australian Paper

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Australian Paper which manufactures REFLEX paper from the Central Highland ash forests, is Victoria’s major user of natural gas. The price of gas is set to rise astronomically Australian Paper Mill chip pilesdue to increased sales offshore. This will be a serious financial burden for this Nippon owned pulp and paper mill. As a result it is pleading for government intervention (more subsidies?) to help it adapt to the price increases.

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.

Forestry agreements need a full overhaul, not just a tick and flick

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Originally published at: 

Regional Forest Agreements were supposed to give certainty to both loggers and conservationists. But they haven’t. Pengo/Wikimedia Commons, CC BYRegional Forest Agreements were supposed to give certainty to both loggers and conservationists. But they haven’t. Pengo/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY
For almost two decades, the management of forests in parts of Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales has been underpinned by state and federal Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs), defined as “20-year plans for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s native forests”.

The broad aim of RFAs is to “provide certainty for forest-based industries, forest-dependent communities and conservation”. RFAs are now up for renewal, and it would certainly be in industry advocates' interest for them to be simply “ticked off”, without the critical scrutiny that is clearly warranted.

The RFAs need to be fully reviewed, not just renewed, because they have had highly perverse outcomes – rather than helping to ease environmental problems, the agreements have actually worsened them in some cases.

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.

Lyrebird - forests gardeners

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Long-footed PotorooLyrebirds are but one aspect of our forests’ natural army of ‘fuel reducers’.

Bandicoots, Potoroos, and other small diggers, hoppers and scratchers are all extremely important in turning over the forest’s compost daily. Add to this work force the insects and their larvae, termites and fungi that are constantly devouring leaves, twigs and even logs.