Letter to the editor

More multi-million dollar gifts from taxpayers to the logging industry

It seems that multi million dollar gifts from taxpayers to the logging industry are so common these days that they barely rate as news.

Earlier this week the federal Government announced that Eden will “benefit” from a $9 million program to establish a “timber hub.”  This is just the latest in an avalanche of grants to the logging industry in the past few years.

Your guess is as good as mine about what exactly a “timber hub“ is.

But since the Pentarch group has a monopoly on all logs taken from State Forests in the Eden Region, the grant is, effectively, yet another grant to the chipmill owners.

With 80 percent of the South Coast State Forest available for logging burnt in the Black Summer bushfires and logging yields down to 30 percent of volumes specified in Wood Supply Agreements, this is no time to be throwing more taxpayer money at this pariah industry.

While the Australian Government has made it very clear that the recent COP26 Declaration on Deforestation will not affect native forest logging here, the declaration surely sends a clear message about what the international community expects from a responsible government.

Governments and the industry should be using this time to allow the forests to recover. They should develop a plan to transition out of native forests to 100% plantation sourced wood as two States have already done.

Our forests are worth vastly more as carbon stores and habitat for struggling wildlife.

18 November 2021