Dawn Stubbs, Munro
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
THE sudden concerns by our local politicians about deforestation and unsustainable practices in other parts of the world, namely South East Asia, shows how really hypocritical they are, considering they have never had any regard for our own deforestation.
It seems they are happy to wipe out our own forests while being now really concerned about the forests of other nations.
Citing Bunnings’ decision as a short-sighted knee-jerk reaction uncovers their lack of knowledge, as Bunnings announced in 2018 that if VicForest did not receive the accreditation by the Forests Stewardship Council it would be dropping VicForests products as a supplier.
The not-for-profit worldwide organisation Forest Stewardship Council was formed in 1993, and came about to bring some sort of framework and guardianship to the wholesale wiping out of the world’s wilderness areas.
VicForests has never been able to receive accreditation from Forests Stewardship Council, even though trying on several occasions.
Darren Chester’s media release last week is missing a lot of vital information, as is the front page.
Mr Chester may be a very nice man and has served the Gippsland people well in several areas, and even though I respect him there needs to be a reply to this latest media release.
He states that we have a world-class timber industry, which I’m sure is right from the standpoint of the timber industry.
Nowhere in this article does he mention scientifically peer-reviewed documentation about Australia’s shocking species loss, of which the timber industry has had a hand in.
Mr Chester also states that 94 per cent of forests are protected, but omits to mention that this 94 per cent includes Mallees in the west and Redgums in the north that are not logged, deserts, scrubby woodlands, and coastal tea tree that the industry is not interested in.
In fact, if anyone wants to look up the Central Highlands Regional Forest Agreement 2020, only 30 per cent of the wet forests in the Central Highlands are dedicated reserves and 20 per cent of the damp forests.
At least 85 per cent of the logs that are removed from the forest become wood pulp, sawdust and waste.
And those logs represent only 40 per cent of the forest biomass on site before logging.
Sixty per cent of the biomass is left behind as ‘slash’, and half of that is burned in post-logging burns.
The other 30 per cent remains on the ground as scorched logs and stumps.
He also mentions the 80-year sustainable regeneration cycle.
According to research, the 80-year cycle is considered too short a rotation for forests, they are not ecologically mature until at least 200 years, which is the time needed to create hollows and habitat for native wildlife.
It can’t be classed as sustainable without wildlife.
Could Mr Chester tell us where the animals go while waiting for the forest to regrow?
It’s the ultimate renewable industry according to the minister, with young growing trees absorbing more carbon dioxide, compared to mature forests.
So from that statement, are we to presume that he thinks this is the perfect excuse to have young forests with very few native species is the way to go?
The scientists have been telling us for a long time now that young forests are far more fire prone and volatile during a fire than older forests, but hey let’s not listen to the science.
Last but not least, Danny O’Brien is worried about orangutans and I feel his sentiment and agree, but could he also start thinking about the shocking fact that in the past 20 years Australia has wiped out 80 per cent of Greater Gliders and is now leading the world in its shameful species loss record?
The timber industry has used up the resource and now is crying foul.
Our local MPs need to take their heads out of the sand and think of future generations and stop trying to prop up a dying, destructive industry.