Are you or friends still confused about how your vote works?
This famous Redwood cartoon explains that voting for the non-duopoly isn't a wasted vote.
$5 million for one logging job?!
What a crime, theft of public money in order to allow the theft of public forests - !
A Pricewaterhouse Coopers leaked report this week shows that one logging job in Victoria costs $5 MILLION to create. That is investment in machinery, equipment and infrastructure such as roads - about 12 times more than the average for other industries. A lot of this would be thanks to tax-payer subsidies. And that's not counting the cost of annihilation of our public treasures - forests and wildlife, water and climate.
It estimated that every $1 of investment in logging native forests delivered 3 cents in direct and 11 cents in indirect benefits to the state economy, or 14 cents in total. That compares to $1.63 for the forestry sector as a whole (including plantations), and $2.65 for the manufacturing sector.
VicForests of course claimed this was flatly wrong because they didn't use VicForests figures. VicForests instead pointed to their own 2015 Deloitte report - which was primarily based on info and data that VicForests provided to Deloitte! As they say - rubbish in rubbish out!
A Liberal spokesperson said the massive logging hand-outs were "totally irrational" financially. It's a shame that the many years the Libs have been the Victorian Government, they defended this same uneconomic and totally irrational native forest logging industry, as the ALP has. Something to do with brown paper bags?
Read more http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/is-victorias-native-forestry-industry-worth-it-at-5-million-a-job-20160623-gpqcui.html
Mills bite the dust
VicForests is 'adjusting supply levels' to the two mills at Nowa Nowa, to MecTec outside of Orbost and the Bendoc mill. The Buchan mill has announced it will close. The Cann River mill has already closed.
Smaller mills are ropable with VicForests' delivery of lower quality and lower volumes of logs. They say there is no security and they could all have to close soon. It appears the larger mill Auswest, is VicForests' favoured customer. Its owner, Brickworks, is planning to use our forests to fuel their brick kilns north of Melbourne. Brickworks was also investigated by the NSW ICAC inquiry into corruption and Liberal Party donations.
Victorian Forest taskforce
This Daniel Andrews-devised industry/enviro groups roundtable is progressing. The first agreed 'Statement of Intent' report was due to be presented to the government by the end of June but that's now been pushed out by 2-3 weeks. These delays mean more trees fall meanwhile.
It was set up as a compromise with the CFMEU which pushed back hard against the Great Forest National Park proposal last year. The Taskforce is an attempt to bring Victoria's logging industry, union and enviro groups (not govt or VicForests) into the one room to devise a consensus solution to the historic logging conflict (and the looming demise of the industry and exhaustion of our forests).
It is well resourced by government and our four enviro reps have been doing an exceptional job in what can be an extremely difficult forum with very unacceptable claims and at times behaviour. There have been experts present on various topics so all in the room are being informed by the same lot of information and data. Read more
Supreme Court orders mediation
The Supreme Court has ordered that EEG and VicForests attend a judicial mediation in Melbourne in August. This could settle the dispute or narrow the issues (many and complex), or do neither.
The trial date is now set for 26th October with 7 days being set aside to hear the evidence and arguments. EEG and our lawyers are currently gathering and preparing the evidence to file in the case .
- Read a summary and analysis of VicForests' claim of profit making for the last financial year 2014-15. The Auditor General doesn't check their methods or sums, just makes sure it's filled in all the columns. Their accounts would not pass muster if it were a private company. VicForests claims it paid a return to Victorian's of $5 million (in 2006 and 2007). $5 million represents a very small recompense to the state for $871 million worth of publicly owned wood pulp and timber from our native forests.
- It seems that every month now, VicForests is being caught out logging easily identified rainforests. In April there were 3 in 3 months, and these were just the examples that were found. DELWP are being kept busy investigating these breaches, which have been going on for years. VicForests seems to know it has a 'legal force field' around it, keeping it safe from prosecution. Read more here
- While the Andrews Labor government works on developing various environmental strategies like water and biodiversity, it's budget from April appears to be in total conflict with biodiversity protection. It has allocated millions to hunting, red gum tree destruction, random poison baiting in forests, more burning and 'hazardous tree' felling. Subsidies to the destruction of biodiversity speak far louder than their glossy documents.
- Many people might recall Victorian landscape photographer Ern Mainka and his famous images. These were extremely helpful with the campaigns during the 80s and 90s. Some of his images are now legendary. Fellow photographer David Tatnall wrote this obituary after learning of his death.
Science and reports
- Something many of us ponder - what is it with human animal that it allows our planet to be destroyed before our eyes? Read the article here
- Through chemical interactions, fungi, root connections and possibly other mysterious methods, trees in a forest communicate a range of messages, help and warn each other. A best-selling book has been written by Peter Wohlleben, a German forest ranger which documents his findings over the years.
- Forest Loss Is Leading To a Rise in Human Disease as it creates optimal conditions for the spread of mosquito-borne scourges, including malaria and dengue.
- Forests’ role in water production and security has long been overlooked but now it's clear. Pressures on forests from population growth, logging and climate change are increasing risks to forests and their aquatic ecosystem services.