Charcoal – What a Waste!

People who have visited the One Tree Exhibition at Tilba Hall and wandered up the street to some of the other shops featuring wooden craftwork should be screaming with frustration at the thought of our valuable trees being burnt for charcoal or power generation.

The One Tree Exhibition shows how much value can be added to just one old stringybark that was otherwise destined to be felled for woodchips. Furniture ranging in design from modern to rustic, musical instruments and works of art were just some of the items made from that one tree.

The exhibition ,which closes at the end of this month, highlights the shortcomings of current forest management. In our region some of the most valued native timber for speciality uses is now classed as “waste” and will instead be used for charcoal.

The red timbers and burls that grow on the old trees are converted by local craftsmen into works which attract a premium price in the market. Imagine the jobs that could be created for local people if the government subsidies being offered to Australian Silicon were instead directed towards better marketing of these value-added products.

We could do much more with fewer trees to everyone’s benefit. Why is the government so keen to sell our heritage for a pittance?

Jenny Edwards
The Coastwatchers Assoc
Tuesday 21 April 2002

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