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Liberal Government's Blind Pursuit of Native Forest Biomass

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Tags: Native Forest Logging, Forests, Biomass, Energy, Renewable Energy, Huon Valley Council, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Carbon Sequestration, Forestry Plantations

That the House:—

(1) Notes with alarm the Liberal Government’s blind pursuit of native forest biomass under its $1.25 million Wood and Fibre Innovation Program, for which submissions close on Friday, 26 August 2016.

(2) Recognises that the use of forest biomass for energy is designed by industry proponents to entrench, legitimise and increase native forest logging and to prop up a failed industry model at the cost of our biodiversity, climate, renewable energy future and the public purse.

(3) Agrees that native forest biomass is emissive, is not carbon neutral, and nor is it a genuine renewable energy resource.

(4) Rejects as wrong and misleading any claims that targeted native forest materials will only be post-sawmill waste, with feasibility studies undertaken by the Huon Valley and Dorset Councils revealing sawmilling is a minor component of their respective target fibre source.

(5) Further notes the push to burn Tasmania’s unique native forests in forest furnaces is a regressive step which will undo the State’s achievements in dramatically decreasing our greenhouse emissions, and increasing carbon sequestration.

(6) Raises serious concerns this latest industry push threatens community conflict over intensified logging of public forests and increased targeting of the private native forest estate, noting the 2013 studies for Private Forests Tasmania which indicated large volumes of material would be taken from native forest direct from the bush to the facility.

(7) Further rejects:-

(a) the use of native forest biomass in Tasmania for commercial energy supply and as an industrial heat source; and

(b) the use of taxpayers’ money to underpin native forest biomass feasibility studies and support.

(8) Further notes comments by Forico’s Chief Executive Officer, reported in the “Examiner” newspaper on 23 August 2016, stating that “the future lies in plantation timber”, and calls for this public funding to be directed into high value innovative wood products from plantations, rather than sinking public money into trying to resuscitate the dying native forest industry