Clearfell Logging

VicForests has credit extended

11 April 2011

THE financial woes of the state government’s commercial forestry arm VicForests have deepened, with it forced to go back to Treasury for a bigger loan.

VicForests’ line of credit with Treasury has doubled in three years, from $12.5 million in 2009 to $25 million this year, as the company struggles with cash-flow problems.

The deepening financial problems at VicForests follow the release of a report by forestry consultants URS, commissioned by Treasury, which found the company cannot manage its costs.

FSC and the battle over Victoria’s forests

17 March 2011
Originally published at : 

By Chris Taylor

The Fifth Estate

The Forest Stewardship Council is becoming wedged in the middle of a battle between environmentalists and Australia’s largest paper manufacturer.

The Wilderness Society launched its campaign in February against Australian Paper, calling for consumers not to purchase Reflex Office Paper, the company’s flagship product, on the basis that its wood fibre is sourced from environmentally destructive logging practices.

VicForests operations condemned

23 February 2011

THE government-owned company that logs Victoria's native forests is running out of timber, has failed to keep track of how much forest is left to log and cannot manage its costs, a damning Treasury report has found.

VicForests has also twice breached Department of Sustainability and Environment rules by logging too much and its backlog of forest that needs replanting has nearly tripled, according to the report by forestry expert URS.

Activists attack sustainability claim

31 January 2011

ENVIRONMENTALISTS have made corporate Australia their number one target as they ramp up pressure on the producers of the top paper brand Reflex to stop using timber logged from native forests.

The battle between the Wilderness Society and Australian Paper has spilled into cyberspace: last week the company convinced Google to stop showing advertisements for the environmental organisation's ''ethical paper'' campaign.

Minister challenges logging advice

23 January 2011

VICTORIA’S new forestry minister has challenged scientific warnings that the timber industry is putting endangered species at risk of extinction, arguing that only a fraction of the state’s forest habitat is logged.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh, whose portfolio includes responsibility for state forests, denied claims the forest industry was in crisis, but said it was ailing, after years of gradual cuts to timber allocation from state forests stymied investment. The Coalition has promised to restore industry confidence by guaranteeing access to current levels of state forest timber for up to 20 years.

Chipping away

22 November 2010
Originally published at : 

The promise to end woodchipping native forests was made 15 years ago. Maybe, just maybe, the promise will be kept. Royce Millar and Adam Morton report.

BOB Brown could have scripted John Brumby's passionate address to an adoring anti-logging rally in Treasury Gardens in 1995. "An end to native forest woodchips, the protection of our high-conservation value forest areas and an industry which is based in the future on plantations. That's what we want."

Native-forest felling split

14 October 2010

THE logging industry is split over the clear-felling of native forest.

Australia’s biggest logging company says the future lies in plantations, while the nation’s biggest mill will consider an exit from native forest products and Tasmanian workers will vote on a proposal to end native-forest logging next month.

And the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania appears set to sign a deal to end native forest logging by its members.

Hello possum, you’re an emblem of extinction

2 October 2010

IT IS not every day you get a chance to make an animal extinct twice. According to scientists, Victoria is steadily working on it.

Leadbeater’s possum, a marsupial endemic to native forest on Melbourne’s fringe, was declared extinct in the 1950s, apparently wiped out by agricultural land-clearing around the Bass River in South Gippsland.

Vic court decision looms as chipmill threat

13 August 2010
Originally published at : 

Environmentalists say a woodchip processor in South East New South Wales will face the brunt of a Victorian Supreme Court decision to block logging in East Gippsland.

The court has banned timber harvesting on Brown Mountain, north of Orbost, until the protected long-footed potoroo and other endangered species are safeguarded.

Chipbusters spokesman, Noel Plumb, says the decision will lead to an interruption of supply of timber to South East Fibre Exports at Eden.

Mr Plumb says the decision has set a landmark precedent.

Conservationists welcome landmark logging decision

12 August 2010
Originally published at : 

Conservationists says the Victorian Supreme Court's decision to block logging in East Gippsland could change the way forests are logged in other areas.
Justice Robert Osborn yesterday ruled logging of old growth trees at Brown Mountain, north of Orbost, can not resume until endangered wildlife is protected.
The judge said State Government owned timber enterprise VicForests must take measures to protect the habitat of the long-footed potoroo and other vulnerable species.