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Claims by the south east woodchipping industry that logging of National Parks would help the ailing industry are absurd.

South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) General Manager, Mr Peter Mitchell made the statement on ABC SE Regional Radio this morning (9th October 2013).

Mr Mitchell has also acknowledged today that the chipmill is in “survival mode” and he should know better than anyone that his biggest problem is being unable to sell the woodchips he currently produces.

“The last thing he needs is a bigger stockpile of woodchips that he cannot sell,” according the convenor of the Chipstop Campaign, Harriett Swift.

“So far in 2013, SEFE has sold less than half of the chips that it used to sell in a ‘normal’ year and there are no signs that this situation will get better for them.”

“Eden woodchips are overpriced, poor quality and carry a serious environmental stigma. Without sales to the parent company, Nippon Paper, the chipmill would have closed a couple of years ago,” Ms Swift said.

“For reasons best known to Nippon Paper it is prepared to carry the losses of SEFE for the time being,” she said.

“Instead of dreaming about how the woodchipping industry can destroy our precious National Parks, Mr Mitchell should be asking the Forestry Corporation to reduce the amount of wood that it is currently obliged to buy,” she said.

“The Wood Supply Agreement between SEFE and the Forestry Corporation is the only one in NSW that is secret but we do know that it locks SEFE into buying and paying for wood that it cannot sell as woodchips,” she said.

“The simple truth is that the more forest SEFE chips, the more money it loses and logging National Parks will not help it or anyone else,” Ms Swift said.

9 October 2013