Monday 13th June 2011
The recent exposé of the export of high quality whole logs to China has shown another of the many underhanded and hypocritical operations that VicForests manages. Environment East Gippsland has accused VicForests of either colluding with this illegal trade or being hopelessly incompetent as the state government’s corporate forest managers.
“We have VicForests on one hand demanding more public land and conservation reserves to be logged to meet the supposed sawlog commitments. On the other hand, VicForests has allowed thousands of cubic metres of high quality logs to be exported to Japan without any more processing than having the ends squared off.” said Jill Redwood.
“We are hearing conflicting excuses of every kind from VicForests; that it wasn’t happening, that there was only one export license approved, that they are investigating the claims, that they were only leftover logs that no one else wanted to buy (surely they haven’t been overlogging?) and that there’s no law against it. This sounds like they are trying to hide the truth.”
“The Timber Industry Strategy states clearly these logs need to be processed before leaving our shores to benefit local employment. Now we have VicForests trying to claim that cutting the ends off logs to fit into containers is the processing that provides a job.”
“Ted Baillieu has inherited a rogue entity and his government needs to investigate and give it a thorough clean out of unscrupulous bureaucrats. Since 2004, it has been clear VicForests has operated against laws, policies, plans and strategies. When they are put in the spotlight, they are unable to convince the public that they are principled, law-abiding or trustworthy.”
A shipping container loaded with native forest sawlogs ready for export to China. Footscray April 2011.
Photo: The Wilderness Society.
Click on the video clips button (on the left) to view a video of the ABC 7.30 Victoria story "China Logs" as it went to air on Friday 10/06/2011.