Tuesday 23 July 2019


 Letter to the editor The Port Macquarie News

Many readers of the Port News would have seen recently on television the latest propaganda from the Forest and Wood Products Australia group.

In this short video advertisement the actor with a safety helmet explains to the viewer that wood sourced sustainably is the Ultimate Renewable as the carbon in the timber in your house is stored for life and the trees are replaced from the thousands of seedlings pictured in the industry's nursery soaking up more carbon.

Sounds good but this description of the industry is deceptive.

There is obviously up to 100 years age gap before the seedlings replace the old trees that actually are more efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide than the growing saplings.

Furthermore the script completely and intentionally omits to mention biomass burning for energy.

The NSW DPI (Department of Primary Industry) claims that, "The benefits of using forestry residues for bio-energy include the opportunity to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing the use of fossil fuels."

The Forest Corporation intends to use Industrial Logging to harvest 142,000 hectares of our state forests from Taree to Grafton with "residues" feeding the proposed biomass plants at Bulahdelah, Herons Creek, Kempsey and Grafton.

The Herons Creek plant even has the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency ARENA) to trial making bitumen and diesel from forest material.

Single Tree selection has now become "Every Single Tree" with leaves, sticks, trees not millable and sawdust going to biomass and chips and pellet to export.

The USA and the EU, especially England have been running this rort for some time claiming that burning timber is more efficient and sustainable however the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summarized the emissions of bio-energy use as follows: "The combustion of biomass generates gross Green House Gas emissions roughly equivalent to the combustion of fossil fuels." When wood is burned to produce electricity, it releases an estimated 80% more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity than coal.

To make this devastation of our biodiversity easier the NSW LNP Government has removed the prescription to search for koalas before logging and is moving to make old growth trees "new" again. 

It is no wonder people are talking about the extinction of arboreal wildlife in NSW
            - John Jeayes

Published in The Port Macquarie News on July 23, 2019.