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Australian forests narrowly escape furnaces, no thanks to Oakeshott

"Oakeshott has been very vocal about the need to "challenge the power of money in politics" yet he seems to have been strongly influenced by the desperate native forest logging industry to support forest furnaces. We are very disappointed with his actions on this." (Prue Acton, Australian Forests and Climate Alliance.)

Australia's forests and wildlife had a desperately narrow escape from an increase in destruction today when Parliament voted not to subsidise the urning of native forest wood for electricity. The vote was 72-72, with Speaker Peter Slipper casting the final 'no' vote to Rob Oakeshott's motion.

The Australian Forests and Climate Alliance said it had succeeded, native forest wood burnt for electricity would have received the government's Renewable Energy Certificates. This would have provided a huge financial incentive for a vastly expanded logging of native forests.

Greens and Independent Tony Windsor

"The Greens and independent MP Tony Windsor had pivotal roles in supporting the protection of the Labor government's Clean Energy Bill and ensuring that our native forests will not be burnt as phony "renewable energy", said Prue Acton from AFCA.

Ms Acton said that Oakeshott's back flip on his previous support fo excluding native forests as "renewable energy" in the Clean Energy Bill came about after he was lobbied by Douglas Head, a local mill owner and forme National Party Electorate Council Chairman.

"Douglas Head, of Kempsey-based Australian Solar Timbers in Oakeshott's electorate, is also a past President of the National Association of Forest Industries lobby group" said Ms Acton.

"The export woodchip industry that has been driving destruction of Australia's native forests for the past 40 years is now faltering so companies like Boral, SEFE, Nippon Paper and Ta Ann are desperate for a new perverse market for "waste woodchips" so they can continue to log our public forests" said Ms Acton.

"Oakeshott has been very vocal about the need to "challenge the power of money in politics" yet he seems to have been strongly influenced by the desperate native forest logging industry to support forest furnaces. We are very disappointed with his actions on this." she said.

"Renewable energy credits will now go to genuine clean renewable energy rather than subsidising the clear-felling and burning of our native forests.

Logging is a massive source of carbon pollution. We need to protect our forests, not burn them." concluded Ms Acton.

For comment:
Prue Acton 0419 393 203 or 0264945144
Jill Redwood 0351540145
Lorraine Bower 0414958714 or 0280688805

Jill Redwood
Environment East Gippsland
Locked Bag 3
ph (03) 5154 0145

East Gippsland - our breathing space!

Source: 19th March, 2012, Media Release, Australian Forests and Climate Alliance


The moa, a 400-pound flightless bird that thrived in New Zealand until about the year 1250, totally disappeared within 60 to 120 years of the first human arrival. Using fire as a weapon and tool, settlers also burned into extinction an entire forest that was to become grassland.

The Mayans leveled forests to fuel the hot fires required for transforming limestone into lime. There is evidence of rotting crops, slaves burning down entire forests to make lime dust, young children starving to death, and poor people who have been starved to the point of insanity. In response to all this, the priests are demanding more Human Sacrifices.

Burning our forests would be complete lunacy and nothing but destructive. The wholesale burning of forests for "renewable energy" is absurd and misconstrued with ecological "green" terminology. There is no consideration of biodiversity, habitats of native species, species already struggling against logging and human-induced threats.

It's an anthropocentric model of human arrogance, with everything is a resource to consume in the endless desire for economic growth. Sacrificing native vegetation for "renewable" energy is the modern misguided equivalent of human sacrifice to the Mayan gods seeking revenge on wayward subservients.

Is Oakeshott so naive or really pandering to industrial logging vested interests in his NSW electorate of Lynne (Port Macquarie) struggling to perpetuate their excuse to log?

Forests NSW (a State logger like government bullies VicForests and Forestry Tasmania), Australian Solar Timbers (family sawmillers in Kempsey) and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (bankrupted, sacked in 2008 and still under administration for capital works excesses).

Smells this, even before you burn it.

Suggan Buggan
Snowy River Region

Our friends at the Toolangi protest site have been copping it again.
The story is expected to be covered tonight on Channel 7 News at 6:00pm - not to be missed.

There were two community actions last week, the second of which met a violent response from VicForests contractors operating on the coupe 1.5 hours before sunrise. Is it legal to be loading by floodlight?

When three environmentalists approached to find out what was happening it is claimed that they were attacked and that all this was captured on video. There may have been illegalities. Police are investigating.

The logging industry put out media last week claiming their members were attached by terrorists in balaclavas – intimidating them in the middle of the night. Certain media ran with this, regional ABC among them.

Statements were also made to support the loggers under Parliamentary privilege by Christine Fyffe (MLA, Lib. - Evelyn). These statements, which may not finish up describing what actually happened, could help embolden violent reaction to conservationists.

Here is the link to Ms Christine Fyffe's statement:, made in the Assembly on 16 August 2012 on the subject of "Timber industry: Evelyn electorate."

Then at 8:30 this evening there will also be coverage of the plight of Koalas on 4 Corners, ABC TV.

On Wednesday evening at 8:00pm Ecotopia on Channel 31 (digital channel 44) will be telling the Toolangi story - another must see.

Victorian environmentalists thank Steve and the crew who are maintaining a determined presence in the area.

From an informed source:

Eden Woodchip mill fate to be decided by end of the year.

"Nippon Paper Industries expected to decide the ongoing viability of the mill by the end of the year."

This could be the end of logging in the entire SE of Australia!

Without woodchips and clearfelling, it wouldn't be viable. It's the woodchipping sales that VicForests relies on. By golly they must be in a cold sweat.