Image

NES could end all Australian native forestry

30 July 2023

Australia’s forest industry fears the Albanese government’s new national environment standards could end native forest logging nationally.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek is drafting the new standards as part of a revamp of environmental law and has vowed to apply them to Regional Forest Agreements. RFAs are federal-state deals that have effectively enjoyed an exemption from national environment laws, on the basis that reserves, and forest practice requirements are sufficient.

The native timber industry – already facing logging bans in Victoria and Western Australia – is sweating on the detail, fearing the new standards could “destroy” remaining industries in NSW and Tasmania. Conservationists are “hopeful” of significant change, arguing the current system is failing to protect endangered species and high conservation value forests.

Former federal Labor minister Joel Fitzgibbon, now chief executive of the Australian Forest Products Association, warned his former colleagues against “misinformation from extreme activist groups”. With Australia importing more than AU$5bn of timber each year, further curtailing native forestry would threaten the nation’s “sovereign capability” to build homes and maintain a range of timber-based industries, he said.

“Twenty-five per cent of our housing construction timber now comes from other countries,” Mr Fitzgibbon told The Australian. “The big risk is much of that product will come from jurisdictions that don’t enforce the environmental and labour standards we do here in Australia. The industry understands and appreciates the government’s political pressures, and we are working with it to better help Australians understand the increasing role the sector can play in meeting our climate change aspirations, and our capacity to remain a country that makes things at home.”

Sources who have seen drafts of the standards said they were encouraging for conservationists. Conservation groups are cautiously optimistic. “It could make logging under the RFAs nigh impossible,” said Wilderness Society Tasmania forest campaigner Alice Hardinge.

Victoria’s exit from native forest logging from November has forced Tasmania to review its forest contract policies. The Wilderness Society and the Bob Brown Foundation called on the Andrews government to ban imports of native timber from NSW and Tasmania.

Source: The Australian

Read More
Image

Australian timber framing industry gets a boost

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is set to spearhead an initiative highlighting the advantages of timber framing in construction, promising a significant boost to its promotion efforts. First established in the Australian Forest Products Association’s Softwood Manufacturing Chamber, and funded by ...
Read more
Image

Who’s transforming our economy with renewable resources?

The opportunities for converting forestry fibre to renewable resources to replace fossil fuel based products are growing every year. The adoption of bioenergy and related technologies / products in New Zealand and internationally, sourced from forestry and wood products companies ...
Read more
Image

New trade agreement a boost for NZ wood processors

Increased export opportunities through the removal of tariffs for 41 wood products included within the ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’ is welcomed by New Zealand’s wood processing and manufacturing industry. ‘Under brand New Zealand we have a leading story to ...
Read more
Image

Södra to become the largest producer of kraft lignin in the world

As a step in the strategy of getting more out of every tree, Södra is now establishing a new business to become a world leader in the production of kraft lignin. Södra’s production facility will be the first commercial facility ...
Read more
Image

NZ National Exotic Forest Description survey – data needed

On 1 April 2024, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sent out the 2024 National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) survey. The survey is critical for informing wood availability forecasts, which underpin infrastructure and wood processing investment decisions, as well as contributing to a ...
Read more
Image

Unlimited potential of virtual reality for forest thinning

How a virtual reality (VR) and gaming engine could add another tool to the forestry training kit. A future where new foresters are trained to thin trees from the safety of a virtual reality forest before more advanced real-world training could be ...
Read more
Image

Growing the potential of NZ’s forestry sector in partnership

Forestry Minister, Todd McClay, has announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. ...
Read more
Image

North American DEMO International running in September

The Canadian Woodlands Forum (CWF) is excited to announce that registration is now open for its flagship event, DEMO International®, to be held outside the Ottawa/Gatineau area in the beautiful region of Venosta, Quebec, Canada, from September 19-21, 2024. This world-class event, ...
Read more
Image

Hydrogen powered airships collecting forest data

Kelluu, a Finnish company founded in 2018, offers commercial enterprises and government agencies with data-as-a-service, specialising in monitoring and providing real-time, actionable intelligence on power lines, roads and railways, as well as surveying and monitoring potential environmental issues associated with ...
Read more