Ian Cohen MLC
Legislative Council, Parliament House
Macquarie Street, SYDNEY 2OOO
Ph: 02 9230 2603 Fax: 02 9230 2267
Mobile: 0409 989 466
29 August 2002
Carr Stops Burning of Forests for Energy –
So Why Burn South Coast Forests for Charcoal?
“I welcome the Premier’s announcement today banning the burning of native forest residues for energy production, which the Premier linked to corporate environmental responsibility,” said Greens MLC Ian Cohen.
“This is a positive step but it appears totally inconsistent with the Government’s approval of the South Coast Charcoal Plant which is based on the burning of native forest timber.”
“The Government has made great play of its claim that the charcoal plant would merely burn forest logging ‘residues’ such as stumps, branches and that no trees would be felled for the charcoal plant.”
“Yet today’s announcement acknowledges that leaving timber residues on the forest floor is a win for biodiversity and the environment.”
“This is exactly what community and conservation groups, supported by forest scientists, have been arguing on the charcoal plant timber supply, although extremely sceptical that State Forests and the industry were really intending to use logging residues.”
“Retention of logging waste is essential to maintain habitat diversity and cover, to allow valuable minerals and nutrients to be returned to the forest soils and to minimise greenhouse emissions by locking the carbon up in the forest soils rather than released to the atmosphere by burning.”
The Premier’s announcement also links the ban on burning forests to corporate environmental responsibility.
“Where is the corporate environmental responsibility of the Government and State Forests in the South Coast Charcoal Plant?”
” The public clearly opposes burning native forests for power or for charcoal, both forms of massive industrial logging and woodchipping. I hope that the Premier will now move to a ban on the burning of forests for charcoal and will find a way to replace native forests as the charcoal source for the Lithgow Silicon Plant, an issue that has created a huge public outcry along the South Coast.”