Swindle

Interpol says corruption in global forestry sector worth $29 billion every year

9 December 2016

The international police organization Interpol released a report today that highlights the scale of corruption in the global forestry sector as well as the importance of coordinating law enforcement efforts across national boundaries in order to protect forests.

According to the report, the cost of corruption in the global forestry sector is some $29 billion annually. Bribery is the most common form of forestry corruption, followed by fraud, abuse of office, extortion, cronyism, and nepotism.

Native Forest logging: we can do better than this

23 July 2016

Pretty much everyone is sick of the slogans used by the major parties in the election. But jobs, growth and fairness remain pertinent to the current situation in the native forests of Victoria's Central Highlands. There, the reality is that native forest logging provides few jobs; it is not a growth industry – its resource availability is shrinking. It is not fair that taxpayers have to subsidise an industry worth far less to the economy than alternative uses of the forest.

Is Victoria's native forestry industry worth it at $5 million a job?

27 June 2016

The viability of Victoria's government-owned native forestry business has been thrown into doubt by a high-level analysis concluding it takes more than $5 million of investment in roads, machinery and equipment to create a single timber job.

Victorian forests worth more as national park than timber

21 June 2016

This ANU report proves the logging industry is worth 1/70th what the forests produce in water value.

Professor David Lindenmayer said plainly "This is really dumb economics..." Logging in the central highlands generated a tiny $29 per hectare of additional net economic activity in 2013-14. That compares to a $2,023 per hectare contribution to the state's water supply, a $2,667 per hectare contribution to agriculture and $353 per hectare from tourism.

The analysis also found the value of carbon sequestration was potentially greater than the value of logging. Based on a carbon price of $12.25 - which was the average price paid by the Commonwealth in its second direct action emissions fund auction - it estimated carbon storage could generated about $38 per hectare per year.

VicForests' dividend - the truth!

13 November 2015

invoice to VicForests from the Victorian public 2015

View invoice (PDF) here

Opening VicForests 2014 - 2015 Annual Report, the corporation's chairman, Gordon Davies, makes the proud assertion that "These results have enabled us to pay increasing dividends to the Government, providing a financial return to the people of Victoria in addition to all of the social benefits the native timber industry provides". This is reinforced by a similar claim in the CEO's Report, "Our ongoing positive financial position has enabled us to pay dividends to our shareholder, the Treasurer - $250,000 based on the 2012-13 results, $765,000 on the 2013-14 results and a proposed $1.5 million based on this year’s results". 

In case anybody has missed it, "Payment of a dividend of $765,000 based on 2013-14 results", is reiterated as a 'Highlight' of the Annual Report. 

These misleading claims appear to be deliberately repeated in order to imply that a dividend was paid during the reporting year.

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.

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.

Chops and chips hard to swallow for some Libs

14 August 2014

EARLIER this month VicForests, the state government-owned entity that manages logging in the state’s native forests, celebrated its 10th birthday with a party.

On the face of it the foresters had a lot to celebrate. In its first eight years, despite taking in hundreds of millions in revenue, VicForests made a profit of only $12.3 million and it hasn’t paid a dividend to its owners — the taxpayers — since 2007. Lately, however, the business seems to have turned the corner. In the financial year 2012-13 it made a profit of $802,000 on $106.3 million in revenue.

Forestry industry out on a limb

9 August 2014

In its heyday, the town of Cann River in the far east of Victoria was home to seven sawmills. But now just one remains .

Bob Humphreys, 70, has run it for 43 years. As a boy he spent school holidays working at the mill.

In all that time no changes have been as dramatic as those which have buffeted the industry in the past five years.

‘‘Our critical mass has shrunk to such an extent that sooner or later it will no longer be viable. And we're rapidly approaching that point, I reckon,’’ Humphreys says.

Victoria leads logging of native forests

8 August 2014

Victoria has become the largest producer of wood from logging native forests in the country, following a dramatic contraction in Australia’s native timber industry over the past decade.

The industry’s decline, and Victoria’s rise to the top, is in large part a result of native timber losing its prized international woodchip markets, with domestic and international plantations now favoured by buyers in Japan and China.

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