VicForests is the ultimate entity of entitlement, yet is still unable to ‘operate its business … as efficiently as possible consistent with prudent commercial practice’, as its Charter states it must.

In the last 10 years VicForests debt to the public could build 10 new schools, pay for 96 extra teachers or deploy five Erickson Skycranes each summer.

It has taken $25million in government grants and subsidies to help it haul $300 million of free logs from our forests for which it still owes Victorians $74million in unpaid dividends. It has never been economically viable.

Mr Napthine gives generous welfare handouts to the state’s biggest environmental vandal. If VicForests were an individual it would be called a hopeless dole bludger.  If it were a company it would have been bankrupted years ago as a fraudulent business.  

A Commission of Audit into this logging monopoly is the very least that should be held. They’ve been on the take since 2004.

VicForests pulls facts ... out of a hat.

4 December 2010

After a complaint was made about the content of VicForests’ “Flora, Fauna and Wood Production” factsheet, they have pulled it off their web site and replaced it with several new “fact” sheets that are just about as bad as the original.

VicForests has been running around media outlets trying to build “relationships” and in the latest Sustainability report they brag that they have:

increased our capacity to be a source of credible facts and figures about the timber industry.

VicForests – master chef at book cooking

20 September 2010

Public forests have been sold for 13c a cubic meter profit by VicForests over the past five years when profits and losses are averaged out, according to Environment East Gippsland. The VicForests Annual Report for 2009-10 was tabled in parliament last week.

Environment East Gippsland claims that VicForests recent statement of a $3.6 million profit for 2009-10 is mostly due to an $11 million grant from Bushfire recovery money and inventive accounting.

LOGGING - A dead loss!

14 December 2007

The headline in the Sunday Age in early December 2007 was 'How to turn $99 million worth of trees into a $17,000 loss'. VicForests was exposed as incompetent economic managers of our public forests. Even with a state government gift of tens of millions of dollars to get it set up, it's still not profitable to cut down native forests.

A new era has begun. We have the combined trilogy of; 1) serious climate shift, 2) plantation wood in abundance and 3) a logging industry that continues to rely on public welfare to make a profit.

VicForests - cutting forests, costs and corners

2 August 2007

After three years as the new semi-corporate arm of the government logging agency, VicForests was going down the economic gurgler.

For the first two years after its creation, VicForests was given an easy run with DSE picking up the tab for many costs, but year three was to see it 'off the dole' and making a profit. To balance their books we saw Vic-Forests planning to cut corners and costs. Unfortunately, this also meant cutting their obligations to look after public lands.

VicForests oversees the logging of public forests and is meant to make a profit. In the past, forest agencies (of various names) have relied on hand-outs to operate. Now VicForests' plans to reduce overheads to stay in business could cost the environment dearly.

Auctioning sawlogs brings in some revenue, especially now it asks for a half-decent price for them. But sawmills aren't needing as many logs these days as there is decreasing demand for hardwood timber. However, thousands of tonnes of smoke-damaged ash forests were being knocked down as 'salvage' at ten times the normal rate. Solid logs were split to sell as woodchip fodder at a reduced price. Despite this 'fire sale', the bills were still mounting.
One of those bills was for $2 million in roading charges. DSE build and maintain logging roads then send the bill to VicForests. VicForests denies this is an unpaid debt, and seemed to say it was just a 'dispute over access fees'.

Fair pricing hits the logging industry

1 June 2005

Fair prices? That's not fair!

When the new VicForests office took over the native forest logging 'shop', they came in with a nice new broom. Mill owners will have to compete for logs by bidding for them when their license runs out over the next few years. Meanwhile their current license for logs has had a 17-25% price increase. This has come as a real shock to some mills and we're hearing very loud squeals of protest. An increase in royalties is exactly what EEG has been asking for since the eighties.

As a result, well known grumpy old men and recipients of millions of dollars in subsidies and assistance, threaten to shut their eastern mill down - again. This cry of 'wolf' has been heard about twice a year, whenever things don't go their way. One particular mill owner usually ends up with another bucket of public money out of it, but hopefully not this time.