Central Highlands

Timber auditor axes operations

12 September 2011

THE ORGANISATION that gives a green tick to some of Australia's biggest timber and paper companies has voluntarily suspended most of its operations after a bruising stoush with environment groups over its approval of paper brand Reflex.

SmartWood, a division of Rainforest Alliance, gave up its ability to give out chain of custody certifications following an investigation into its audit of Reflex maker Australian Paper by international governing body the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Just 1% of central highlands old growth survives

12 September 2011

BEFORE European settlement up to 80 per cent of the wet eucalyptus forest of Victoria's central highlands was old-growth mountain ash, with trees taller than 90 metres towering above the landscape.

According to research published in US journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the old-growth is nearly gone and on the verge of being unrecoverable.

The paper says decades of logging and frequent bushfire have reduced the area of old-growth to about 2000 hectares - 1.2 per cent of the forest area north-east of Healesville.

Reflex loses environmental certification

1 September 2011

UPDATE: RURAL jobs could be at stake after Australia's largest brand of copy paper no longer has an environmental certification.

Reflex copy paper, manufactured by Australia's biggest mill near Traralgon, is no longer certified by the Forest Stewardship Council .

The loss of the certification centres around Reflex's use of native forest woodchip.

Reflex paper loses green tick of approval after native timber stoush

23 August 2011

AUSTRALIA'S best-known brand of paper, Reflex, is to be stripped of its international green certification after its maker, Australian Paper, watered down its commitment to the Forest Stewardship Council system.

Australian Paper's decision means it will continue to use wood sourced from native forest to make Reflex - welcome news for Victorian state government-owned logger VicForests, which counts the company among its largest customers.

Paper manufacturer loses green credentials

23 August 2011

The manufacturer of Reflex paper has lost part of its international environmental certification, after withdrawing from an audit of its wood supplies.

The Forest Stewardship Council was auditing Australian Paper, to check that the wood used to make Reflex paper is not sourced from high conservation value forests.

Luke Chamberlain from the Wilderness Society says the company withdrew from the process, because it cannot meet environmental standards.

No agreement on paper

3 August 2011

THE owner of Australia's best-known brand of paper, Reflex, has fought off environmental groups to gain a one-month extension to its international green certification.

But the price of the one-month extension granted to Reflex's manufacturer, Australian Paper, has been to open deep divisions within the certification system, with international governing body the Forest Stewardship Council attacking Australian Paper's auditor, SmartWood, over the decision.

Secret log exports exposed

21 June 2011

THE Wilderness Society has called on the Victorian ombudsman for an independent investigation into the proposed secret export of whole sawlogs from state forests in the Central Highlands region.

An investigation by The Wilderness Society and My Environment revealed tens of thousands of hardwood sawlogs from bushfire affected forests, including the Mount Disappointment State Forest, are secretly being shipped to China against State Government policy.

Call for inquiry as salvaged wood exported

20 June 2011

THE Ombudsman has been asked to investigate VicForests for allowing thousands of tonnes of wood salvaged from the Black Saturday bushfires to be exported to China in breach of a government contract.

The Wilderness Society has lodged a complaint with Ombudsman George Brouwer after VicForests confirmed a private company, Pinex Logging, had breached a contract to process the logs locally to protect jobs in the Victorian timber industry.

Row erupting over Black Saturday CHN wood exports

20 June 2011

THOUSANDS of tonnes of wood salvaged from the Black Saturday bushfires has been sent to China in breach of a government contract.

The Wilderness Society has called on Ombudsman George Brouwer to investigate after VicForests confirmed a private company, Pinex Logging, had breached a contract to process the logs locally to protect jobs in the Victorian timber industry.

VicForests investigates timber claim

11 June 2011

A TIMBER merchant has been accused of putting Victorian jobs at risk by sending thousands of tonnes of wood salvaged after the deadly Black Saturday fires overseas for processing.

The state government's commercial forestry arm, VicForests, confirmed yesterday it was investigating Robert Brudenell, of Pinex Logging, over a suspected breach of contract.

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