Daily Forestry and Forest Industry News

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Forestry and Forest Industry News from Australia

.... most recent Forestry and Forest Industry News from Australia: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and around the world.

"Hope For Timber Workers"

Feb. 11, 2010; Adelaide Now: "INDEPENDENT Senator Nick Xenophon has given embattled South-East timber industry workers a glimmer of hope. Senator Xenophon yesterday secured a federal inquiry into a State Government decision to sell off forests.

The Senate inquiry will report by April but any recommendations will not be binding on the Rann Government.

'I believe the decision by the South Australian Government to forward sell over 100 years of timber harvests needs to be thoroughly reviewed because it will have a significant impact on the south-east,' Senator Xenophon said. 'There is a strong likelihood of regional job losses as a result of this decision'." Read more... . external_link

"Can't See Forests For The Wood"

Feb. 10, 2010; The Northern Rivers Echo: "There’s a large red H spray-painted on the side of a tall tree in Doubleduke State Forest, just south of Coraki. The ‘H’ stands for habitat and has been marked on the tree by Forests NSW during a pre-logging survey of the public forest. Around the bottom of the tree is a large pile of wooden debris consisting of broken branches and stripped bark (called ‘slash’), left behind after the area was logged recently.

Ecologist Dave Milledge stands on a nearby sawed-off tree stump and addresses a group of politicians and members of the public who have come to the forest for a meeting to discuss how our public forests are being managed. The group is being taken on a walk through the logged forest to see areas where breaches of forest logging licences have been found by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA). Mr Milledge is one of a team of ecologists and botanists who, along with NEFA, have been monitoring the logging practices of Forests NSW over the past few years. He is concerned that illegal logging practices are endangering the forest habitats of native animal species and breaching the DECCW’s Threatened Species Licence and Environmental Protection Licence.

'These habitat trees contain hollows that are used as homes by endangered animals like the yellow bellied glider,” Mr Milledge said. 'Under the Threatened Species Act, the logging operators are supposed to move the logging slash to five metres away from the bottom of the habitat tree, so when they come back through to do a hazard reduction burn, the burning debris won’t damage the tree... with logging waste piled up at the bottom, this tree will be destroyed by the hot fire'." Read more... . external_link

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"New South Wales Allowed Logging On Koala Habitat"

Feb. 10, 2010; The Canberra Times: "The NSW Government has allowed 2000ha of koala habitat to be logged at Coffs Harbour in northern NSW, despite a local koala conservation plan endorsed by the local council, a Senate inquiry has heard.

One of Australia's leading koala researchers, Alistair Melzer, has accused federal environment bureaucrats of doing little to avoid 'an escalating conservation crisis' as koala populations decline.

Dr Melzer, who heads Central Queensland University's koala research centre, told the Senate environment committee inquiry it appeared that Canberra's bureaucrats 'do not seem to be sensitive to the real state of the environment'." Read more... . external_link

"Senate To Probe Timber Forward Sale Plan: There Is To Be A Senate Investigation Of The Planned Forward Sale Of Timber Assets In South Australia"

Feb. 10, 2010; Australian Broadcasting Corporation News: "Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has referred the SA Government plan to an Upper House inquiry.

He said it would investigate the effects on the state's economy, the forestry industry and employment.

'I believe the decision by the South Australian Government to forward sell over 100 years of timber harvests needs to be thoroughly reviewed because it will have a significant impact on the south-east,' he said." Read more... . external_link

"Tasmania's Forest Wars: Restoring Virginity"

Feb. 10, 2010; The Economist: "WHEN Lara Giddings took over as premier of Tasmania on January 24th, she took the number of women heads of government in Australia to the unprecedented total of four. For Tasmanians, though, Ms Giddings’s sex is less of a concern than how she will steer through a deal between logging companies and environmentalists that could end the island state’s 30-year war over its forests.

Between mainland Australia and Antarctica, Tasmania has just 2.3% of the country’s population but the lion’s share of its environmental battles. The island can claim to be the birthplace of the world’s green political movement, with a group formed 39 years ago to fight the flooding of Tasmania’s lakes and rivers for hydroelectric power. Greens won that battle in 1983 when the Franklin river was saved. Since then, forests have been the focus.

Forests cover half of Tasmania, compared with 2% for Australia as a whole. Most in Tasmania are 'native' forests unlogged for up to a century, if at all. At least half these are isolated in conservation reserves. But until recently most of the rest were available for felling by businesses such as Gunns, Tasmania’s biggest timber company. Much native timber became woodchips for export, mainly to Japan. Tasmania has provided about a quarter of Australia’s forestry jobs. But over the past two years, the jobs have fallen by a third." Read more... . external_link

"Finnish Firm UPM Eyes Stake In Gunns Pulp Mill"

Feb. 09, 2010; Eco-Business: "AUSTRALIA -- A potential backer has emerged to resurrect the Gunns pulp mill, with Finnish pulp giant UPM revealing it has been investigating a joint venture in the project.

UPM, which has production plants in 15 countries, confirmed to The Australian it was 'studying' the $2.3 billion Gunns project as a potential investment opportunity, but insisted no commitment had been made.

There is speculation in political circles that UPM will be the joint venture partner and that Gunns is redoubling efforts to obtain a 'social licence' from the local community to clinch the deal." Read more... . external_link

"Green Law Reform Limbo"

Dec. 20, 2010; The Age: "PLANS to radically overhaul Australia's national environment laws are in limbo, with Environment Minister Tony Burke scrapping work by his predecessor, Peter Garrett, on the changes.

The Age believes that, as environment minister, Mr Garrett prepared a cabinet submission proposing the government accept a significant proportion of recommendations by an independent review to give the laws more teeth, while cutting business red tape.

The laws are used to approve or reject major projects such as pulp mills and mines based on the impact they have on protected wildlife." Read more... . external_link

"Union Slams ‘Electoral Favouritism’ In Forest Sale Plan"

Dec. 20, 2010; The Border Watch: "Revelations in a memo leaked to The Border Watch have shown ForestrySA plantations on the fringe of Adelaide will be spared in the government’s forward sale of state-owned forests.

The revelation has sparked claims the government is playing “electoral favouritism” by attempting to exclude the majority of voters — the metropolitan population — from any implications that may result from the decision.

The memo was circulated to employees of a saw milling company in ForestrySA’s second largest plantation region outside of the Green Triangle — the Mount Lofty Ranges." Read more... . external_link

"Pine Forest Uprooted In Gale"

Dec. 17, 2010; Australian Broadcasting Corporation News: "Forestry SA says nothing could have prevented 130 hectares of pine forest from blowing over in a gale-force storm near Jamestown in South Australia's mid-north.

The forest manager, Gary Pearson, says a combination of 137 kilometres per hour winds, wet soil and the timing of thinning caused the trees to fall at the Bundaleer Forest on September 4.

He says the 20,000 tonnes of timber that toppled is more than the Jamestown mill normally processes in a year, so some of the timber is being sold to mills in the Adelaide Hills." Read more... . external_link

"Kelty Referee On Log Jobs"

Dec. 16, 2010; The Mercury: "AN end to logging of 600,000 ha of Tasmania's most ancient forests is in sight, with protection of high-conservation-value public forests expected by March.

The move follows an announcement in Hobart yesterday by the state and federal governments that former union boss Bill Kelty will take over the next stage of negotiating the restructuring of the state's native forest industry.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke and Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett signalled the start of the "mapping and implementation" of a "progressive moratorium" over the next 90 days, leading to suspension of logging in agreed high-conservation-value forests." Read more... . external_link

"Gunns Closes Mill, 44 Sacked For Christmas"

Dec. 13, 2010; The Age: "ALEXANDRA was once a timber town. Not any more.

Timber company Gunns has announced it is closing the last of the central Victorian community's three mills, putting 44 people out of work.

For Tim Doherty, a mill employee for 10 years, it could mean the end of his working life. ''I'm 62 years old, what else can I do?'' he said. ''I'm pretty secure, but the young kids are the ones who are going to suffer.''" Read more... . external_link

"Gunns Has Money To Buy FEA Sawmill"

Dec. 13, 2010; Australian Broadcasting Corporation News: "Tasmanian timber giant, Gunns Limited, has announced to the Australian Stock Exchange it has raised $25 million to buy a sawmill at Bell Bay from Forest Enterprises Australia (FEA).

FEA went into voluntary administration in April.

Gunns announced the sale of almost 42 million shares to the Stock Exchange this morning." Read more... . external_link

"Whiff Of Success"

Dec. 13, 2010; The Australian: "A WOODY aroma is wafting throughout the Mount Romance sandalwood factory in Albany, in the southwestern corner of Australia.

There’s a mildly new age aura to the place, aided by a large meditation gong inside an indoor teepee and signs in the showroom that extol sandalwood oil’s healing powers and spiritual scent. At one end of the factory, three men are gathered around a large Aboriginal painting and they are painting their hands in red, white and ochre. One is an Aboriginal sandalwood harvester; next to him is the company executive who buys his wood stumps to extract the oil; the third is a Swiss perfume executive whose company uses Australian sandalwood oil in its products. The trio takes it in turns to plant their painted palms on the canvas in a sign of business unity.

This unorthodox outfit is one of few sandalwood distilleries in the world. And – according to a 2006 federal government report into the industry – it could end up supplying 60 per cent of the world’s sandalwood oil by 2023." Read more... . external_link

"Crackdown On Illegally Logged Timber"

Dec. 09, 2010; Sydney Morning Herald: "The federal government has vowed to crack down on the importation and sale of illegally logged timber.

Forestry Minister Joe Ludwig on Thursday said Labor planned to introduce draft laws to parliament next year requiring importers to meet due diligence tests proving their timber wasn't logged illegally.

All timber products, including sawn timber, wood panels, pulp, paper, wooden furniture and composite products will have to comply with the new conditions." Read more... . external_link

"Unionists Boast Of Backroom Power"

Dec. 09, 2010; Sydney Morning Herald: "AUSTRALIAN union bosses hold ''powerful sway'' over Labor ministers and have ''disproportionate influence'' over the government via backroom deals, according to confidential US cables.

The US State Department cables reveal that union leaders have privately briefed American officials about how they use their influence over the Labor Party to shape federal government policies, including those on climate change.

The cables, sent to Washington from US diplomatic posts in Canberra and Melbourne and released to the Herald by WikiLeaks, also reveal the close watch US officials keep on the union movement." Read more... . external_link

"Work Order Not Fair"

Dec. 09, 2010; Latrobe Valley Express: "CONSTRUCTION, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union is calling on Australian Paper to show some Christmas spirit and abandon the Fair Work Australia order which is forcing Maryvale Mill employees to work on Christmas and Boxing days.

The union's Pulp and Paper District secretary Chris Robertson said it was ``inhumane'' of the company to place a $6000 civil law suit over the heads of its workers if they did not ``volunteer'' to work.

``This contravenes our Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, which was signed off by the company in May,'' Mr Robertson said." Read more... . external_link

"Mill Workers Face Fines"

Dec. 07, 2010; Sydney Morning Herald: "Workers at a Victorian paper mill who have failed to volunteer to work Christmas Day face fines of up to $6,000 if they don't turn up.

Their union is now seeking legal advice in an effort to keep the men at home so they can enjoy the day with the families." Read more... . external_link

"Treading Carefully At Cancun"

Dec. 07, 2010; The Australian: "AFTER the crashed hopes of Copenhagen, a much reduced contingent of climate change negotiators and their non-government entourage has flocked to the Mexican beach resort city of Cancun to continue the push for global action.

The protesters are still there but the hype of Copenhagen is missing." Read more... . external_link

Forestry and Forest Industry News from Australia

.... most recent Forestry and Forest Industry News from Australia: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and around the world.

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