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Almost 100% woodchips from post bushfire logging of Eden Region native forests

Almost 100 percent of trees logged in the Eden Region following the 2019-20 bushfires were exported as woodchips, according to figures just provided to State Parliament.

During the year 2020, 96% of trees felled were for woodchips with an additional 1.5% for firewood.  All the trees ended up at the Eden chipmill.

The figures were provided in answer to a Question on Notice by Greens MP, David Shoebridge.

“These figures raise massive legal, ethical and environmental questions,” according to Harriett Swift, Deputy Convener of the South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA).

The legal framework under which logging is conducted states that “an operation must not be conducted for the primary purpose of producing low quality logs (including salvage and firewood) and pulplogs.”

The figures provided to the State Parliament do not just represent a single operation, they represent the output of an entire year’s logging operations.

“If there was ever any doubt, these figures show clearly that woodchipping is driving all native forest logging in the Eden Region. Without it, the industry would stop,” she said.

Ms Swift said: “This is probably the highest proportion of pulp logs ever produced since the woodchipping industry began 50 years ago. “ 

“After the catastrophic bushfires, these forests and any surviving wildlife need a chance to recover, not further destruction for export woodchips, threatening the very survival of the wildlife and the forests themselves, as well as soil and water.”

Logging industry lobbyists have been constantly claiming to the government and the public that it is essential to resume logging in order to supply the construction industry.

“This is nonsense. Forests of this region are being logged with huge taxpayer subsidies for woodchips, pure and simple, and all of those woodchips are exported.

“There is no benefit to the economy or the environment from logging, woodchipping and exporting our forests.”

12 April 2021

Photos of Nadgee logging. Trucks  Log piles