SENATOR THE HON. IAN MACDONALD
Minister for Forestry and Conservation
16 May 2002
Brown misleads Senate on Mogo charcoal plant
Greens Senator Bob Brown has mislead the Senate in relation to the proposed charcoal plant at Mogo near Batemans Bay, NSW, the Minister for Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, said today.
First, the issue is one which is wholly and solely for the NSW Government, and one over which the Federal Parliament has no control. Rightly, in the circumstances, the Senate defeated the motion. The NSW Labor Government has approved this plant contrary to the wishes of the community who oppose the specific location of the plant.
“But in his efforts to have the Senate condemn the plant, Senator Brown has resorted to exaggeration and half-truths,” Senator Macdonald said.
“Contrary to Senator Brown’s claims the proposed plant is not based on ‘a massive new logging operation’.
“The plant would use residual and wood waste which would otherwise have been chipped for fibre or left to burn or rot in the forest. No forest would be harvested specifically to access timber for the plant.
“Despite Senator Brown’s assertion no additional trees need be felled to supply these low grade logs to the plant.
“Senator Brown knows that the supply agreement for the plant provides for 200,000 tonnes of residual hardwood each year and that the availability of this timber falls within the fibre wood supply levels under the Southern NSW and Eden Regional Forest Agreements.
“Senator Brown also knows that there would be no clear-felling of high conservation old-growth forests.”