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Woodchip logs "given away"  new figures reveal

The Forestry Corporation has been accused of giving away trees to the woodchipping industry, with royalty costs for pulp logs a fraction of their real price at the start of current Wood Supply Agreements.

Convener of the Chipstop campaign, Harriett Swift is backing the claim with figures[1]  revealed in State Parliament this week.

"At the start of Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) almost 20 years ago, pulp log royalties in the Southern Region were more than three times what they are now, in inflation adjusted terms.

"For the Eden Region the inflation adjusted royalty price for pulp logs was almost double the current price," she said.

Royalties are the prices paid by the Eden chipmill to the Forestry Corporation for native forest pulp logs.

The information was revealed in an answer to a Question on Notice by Greens MP Dawn Walker, who is Greens spokesperson on forestry.

Ms Swift said that in the year 2000, pulp log royalties in Southern Region were $8.72 per cubic metre.  Adjusted for inflation this is equivalent to $14.72 per cubic metre today. The most recent royalty price is just $4.60[2] per cubic metre, less than one third of the price before the RFA.

"In the Eden Region, the price in 2000 was $20 per cubic metre, equivalent to $32.71 in terms of today's dollar value[3] and almost twice today's royalty of $18.90 per cubic metre of pulp logs."

 "NSW taxpayers have every right to be very annoyed by this," she said.

"It is further evidence of just how much the taxpayers of NSW are subsidising this destructive industry."

"Year after year, the Forestry Corporation has used profits from its plantations to prop up marginal or loss making native forest woodchipping."

"Other subsidies such as local government rates exemptions and direct grants to the industry add to the burden on the taxpayer."

"The sooner the industry makes a full transition to plantation sourced wood the better," Ms Swift said.

19 September 2018




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