A Dead Loss

Yes – a ‘dead loss’ sums up Victoria’s native forest logging industry. 

It can’t survive without sponging off tax payers, it breaks laws you and I have to adhere to, it destroys ancient ecosystems and trees hundreds of years old, it stuffs up our water catchments, thumbs its nose at the public’s concerns, leaves thousands of hectares of once-was forest as a weed infested mess, it lies, feeds government and communities outrageous spin, is unaccountable, uneconomic, unprincipled, unlawful.

Its existence is a shameful blight on Victoria.  

VicForests – 11 years of loss-loss

13 November 2015

VicForests is crowing that this 2014/15 year, it made a profit of $4.68 million.

And for the first time in eight years, a dividend of $765 000 was paid to the people of Victoria via the Treasurer and VicForests is still thinking about paying last year’s owed dividend of $1.5 million. Whether we’ll see it is another thing. On a backlogged debt of $60 million, it’s a start. VicForests claims it’s paid a return to Victorian’s of $5 million (in 2006 and 2007). $5 million represents a very small recompense to the state for $871 million worth of publicly owned wood pulp and timber from our native forests.

What underlies the Minister’s lies?

3 September 2015

Minister Jaala Pulford is responsible for VicForests. She’s been caught with her pants on fire again trying to cover for it in reply to a question from Greens MP Sam Dunn in early September.

She asked about ‎VicForests’ self-allocation of an additional 316 new stands of forest in Victoria to be clearfelled. The Minister said it was OK because the same number of hectares was also removed off logging maps. What she didn't say was that most of those coupes VicForests had already clearfelled and were now handing back to DELWP to manage!

VicForests plans EG forests as industrial furnace fuel

30 May 2015

Big River East GippslandA leaked three-year business plan of VicForests reveals multi-million dollar taxpayer losses among other startling revelations. East Gippsland is mentioned as the most uneconomic region having made losses of $5.5 million p.a. for years. This region supports the most exquisite and wildlife rich forests in SE Australia - that have been clearfelled to sell as ‘waste’ – and we are paying them to carry out this destruction. But that’s not the worst of it.

Is VicForests Critically endangered?

15 April 2015

In early April, VicForests decided to move from Healesville to a cheap prefab in Woori Yallock. They’ll take 30 staff there including some from Melbourne. They’ve been cutting corners and fat to save money for ages and this is the latest move – cheaper rent in Woori Yallock than Bourke St.

CEO, Robert Green said the move would be “…contributing to the local economy”, and he said there was space enough to expand their staff. Funny, as they’ve been contracting ever since 2004.  They move into their new office in July or August.

VicForests - now a tax-dodger too

10 April 2015

It is not only hi-tech internationals like Microsoft, Google and Apple that are rorting the tax system to minimise declared profits and therefore pay less tax.

Low-tech, state-owned native forest logging corporation, VicForests, has been at it for years. Since  2007 VicForests has posted total revenues of almost $1 billion raised from the sale of public wood-chips and timber.. Two-thirds of this is paid to a small number of loggers and hauliers  and the balance is spent on running VicForests, including the CEO's wage of over $300,000 per annum, about the same as the Premier's.

Creative accounting – VicForests style

9 April 2015

Paper profits for political appearances Cooking the books cartoon

VicForests Annual Report for 2014 is now available here and they are claiming a profit of $3.4 million this year, but this claimed profit is a mirage, created for political reasons.

$2.6m seems to have been generated (on paper at least) by re-valuing "forestry assets", see Note 3c, p.42

Another $1.1m is gained in reduced Road access fees (payable to DEPI/DELWP). Given the volume of timber carted is almost identical to the previous year, it is not clear why this fee would be reduced. Possibly to help a loss making government entity look healthy and profitable.

Leadbeater’s Action Statement

4 October 2014

Earlier this year the Leadbeater’s Possum Advisory Group (LPAG) delivered its reports to the state government. The group had been established by the government to make recommendations to support “the recovery of the Leadbeater’s Possum while maintaining a sustainable timber industry”. The group included no specialist expertise, being composed entirely of government employees and representatives of the logging industry. Predictably its recommendations were mediocre and all were accepted by the government.

Pages