RFA Bill Dead – now for the South Coast Charcoal Factory

Ian Cohen MLC
The Greens
Legislative Council, Parliament House
Macquarie Street, SYDNEY 2OOO
Ph: 02 9230 2603 Fax: 02 9230 2267
Mobile: 0409 989 466
Email: ian.cohen@parliament.nsw.gov.au


27 September 2001

RFA BILL DEAD – now for the South Coast Charcoal Factory

Ian Cohen MLC has claimed that the death of the Federal Regional Forest Agreement Bill in the National Parliament yesterday was also a critical blow to the controversial South Coast charcoal factory, a massive new woodchipping operation being pushed by the Carr government in NSW.

“The western Australian mining company, Australian Silicon, which has teamed up with NSW State Forests and the Carr government to promote this archaic, greedy and irresponsible scheme must now reconsider its position, said Mr Cohen.”

” Australian Silicon told me that they were seeking the timber supply from the South Coast forests because it would be guaranteed by both State and Commonwealth legislation.”

” There is now a huge question mark over any Commonwealth guarantee because the Beazley Opposition backed off supporting John Howard and Wilson Tuckey to ram the legislation through before Parliament rises for the Federal election. The ALP backed off in the face of enormous community opposition led by Greens Senator Bob Brown.”

“Now we need to see if the NSW Premier, Bob Carr, who boasts of his green credentials, will stop the charcoal factory in its tracks instead of putting a third NSW country region through the anger and frustration of fighting the factory to the death. ”

“The scheme has already been thrown out of Dubbo and Gunnedah when it was proposed to log first the western woodlands and then the north east forests for the charcoal supply.”

“A massive public meeting, some 500 people, near Batenmans Bay on the South Coast last night unanimously condemned the proposal and refused to support charcoal production through woodchipping and burning native forests on the South Coast or anywhere else. The meeting cheered to the rafters when told of the death of the Federal RFA Bill.”

“If Mr Carr wants to retain his green credibilty he will put an immediate stop to this and any more proposals to massively intensify woodchipping and logging on the South Coast or anywhere else in NSW.”

“Kim Beazley now has his last chance to gain conservation and green voter support and make it a close federal election. But he needs to pledge not to resurrect the RFA Bill and to implement a restructure of the logging industry out of native forests into plantations.”

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