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Questions re commercial use of native forests on public lands

1.      Does clear felling a forest mean it is destroyed forever?

No.  Like all life, forests are born, go through a number of life st
ages, grow old and die.  Australia has an ecology based around fire.  Clear felling in our ash forests produces a new vigorous forest that will provide the diversity missing in forests consisting only of ‘old growth’.  This diversity provides habitat for flora and fauna not suited to just the older forests.

2.      Has commercial utilization of native forests on public land in the state of Victoria caused the extinction of any species of native flora?

No.  If you believe so, please provide a list of those species. (Refer: - Extinct and Endangered Plants of
Australia by Leigh, Boden & Briggs.)

3.      Has commercial utilization of native forests on public land in the state of Victoria caused the extinction of any species of native wildlife?

No.  If you believe so, please provide a list of those species. (Refer: -
Australia’s Endangered Species, Ed. M. Kennedy. This publication repeats all the rhetoric about logging and wood chipping, but provides no examples of their supposed elimination of species.)

4.      Has commercial utilization of native forests on public land in the state of Victoria destroyed the long-term forest conservation values of those forests?

Obviously No.  Otherwise situations would not occur where intensively man
aged forests such as Jancourt (selection forest) and Grey River (clear felled coupe) are seen as ‘pristine’ and superior to adjoining parks.  Otway forests that have been logged for over 100 years are still seen as worthy of national park status even though the ‘greens’ movement have convinced the urban dwellers that once a forest is logged it is destroyed forever.

5.      Has commercial utilization of native forests on public land in the state of Victoria had any impact on the tourism industry?

Yes.  Revenues from forest industries have been the major contributor to the access infrastructure used for tourism within almost all current national parks and all other public lands.  Also, tourism in the Otways coast (which also uses forest roading) has increased from 200,000 to almost 2,000,000 per year over the last 20 years.


6.      Has commercial utilization of native forests on public land in the state of Victoria threatened the economy of any rural community or the state?

No.  And the Otways native forest utilization provides economic activity of almost $100m a year to the state economy without affecting other commercial activity.

But. Isn’t it a great idea by government to spend a few million dollars to remove that income from rural (and urban) communities just to gain a few urban ‘greens’ votes?

The ongoing loss to the economic activity of the state as a result of timber production phase-outs since the Bracks’ government was elected, is estimated to be in the vicinity of $800 million per year.

How is the state government going to offset loss of their share of revenue (royalties, licence fees, fuel taxes, GST, business levies & stamp duties) from this economic activity?

 

7.      Are there alternatives to forest products that are renewable and more sustainable resources?

A definite No. Not only do forests regenerate and provide resources in perpetuity, the energy input required to produce the final product used by the community is less than most substitutes, and I can’t see mud brick and hay bales impacting on urban building and fitting out practices.  And it must be also remembered that energy use equates to CO2 emissions into our atmosphere.  Examples are Timber 30 kg per cubic metre Concrete 50 kg/m3, steel 700 kg/m3, and Aluminium 8000 kg/m3.
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 © Geoff Beilby
 

 

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