Greens Forests MLC Diane Evers says a plan by the Forest Products Commission to set up a low-value timber processing yard in the South-West and massively increase native forest logging in native forests to supply will be a gross breach of the McGowan Government’s pre-election rhetoric.
“Forest Products Commission is seeking private interest in setting up and running a timber processing yard somewhere in the South-West,” Ms Evers said. “While it mentions plantation timber, which the Greens strongly support, and would welcome additional plantation processing facilities, the tender document states that the facility would be, quote, ‘part of a broader strategy to expand markets for native forest timbers’.
“The tender reveals that the facility will mainly derive low-end products including wood chips, firewood, charcoal, pellets and biomass energy from our jarrah, karri and marri forests. In order to make the model financially viable, the FPC wants to increase logging of small and young native trees by up to 50 per cent.
“This comes at a time when our native forests are manifestly worth more to community and the economy standing than logged: Greens research and a report by the industry itself reveal that former timber communities see their future in agriculture and tourism, not in logging.
“When protected, native forests provide health and social benefits including clean air and water flow, microclimate moderation, amenity and recreation.
“The ALP promised before the election to ‘immediately conserve High Conservation Value forests to provide protection for some of WA's most threatened wildlife’, yet numerous identified HCV forests are on the Government’s harvest plan for the next three years.
“The FPC obliged by law to try to make money out of native forests, but it cannot do so without making a mockery of ecological sustainability principles that it is also supposed to aspire to.
“The Greens urge the Minister to immediately drop the Integrated Timber Processing Yard Proposal and implement its promise to protect all High Conservation Values forests across the South-West.”
Diane Evers MLC
Phone: 08 9486 8070
Post: PO Box 949, West Perth WA 6872