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Resources – Woodchips

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Tags: Woodchips, Native Forest Logging

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Minister. I think they should send you the bill because this is on you. Minister, what was the total tonnage of woodchips produced from native forests in Tasmania in 2020-21? What proportion of the total tonnage of native forest products was this? Can you confirm that the vast majority of native forests harvested, one million tonnes a year, are shipped to China, where there is no requirement for forest stewardship certification?

Mr BARNETT - Clearly, as this is an operational matter and matter of detail, I will pass to the department to see if we can assist the member, noting that our forest industry is sustainable and is driven through the importance of saw logs for building homes and using our timber on floors, on stairs, in kitchens and in various parts of the building and construction sector, and highlight how important it is. Of course, in terms of wood residue and wood chips, I will see if the department can assist.

Ms O'CONNOR - That is exactly why I have asked you this question to try and find out how much of the products go to woodchip and how much are the products? How much of the trees go to woodchips?

CHAIR - Ms O Connor, I think your question was understood.

Mr JACOBI - Through the Minister, Ms O'Connor. I am advised that the total wood production in the state in 2021 was 5.05 million tonnes, private forests accounted for 3.47 million tonnes, the major products sourced from Tasmania's native forests are saw logs, peeler billets and woodchips and the quantities produced from public forest in the 2020 21 financial year were 115 375 cubic metres of high quality saw log from native forest, 13 259 cubic metre of saw logs from soft wood plantation, 33 068 cubic metres of low quality saw log, 32 356 tonnes of domestic peeler billets -

Ms O'CONNOR - What was that sorry?

Mr JACOBI - 32 356 tonnes of domestic peeler billets, 74 425 tonnes of native forest export log, 875 266 tonnes of pulp wood from native forest, 160 150 tonnes of pulp wood from hardwood plantation, 202 336 tonnes of pulp wood from softwood plantation, 8 825 cubic metres of specialty timber and 21 105 tonnes of native forest firewood.

It is important to note that all of these figures are publicly reported and available from STT.

Ms O'CONNOR - So, it would be fair to say Minister, would it not, that the vast majority of timber that is harvested from native forests is pulp wood and ends up as woodchips with a very very short carbon life? That is just the data.

Mr BARNETT - Through you Chair, as I indicated in earlier remarks and answers, what we do know is that the saw logs are by far and away the highest value output -

Ms O'CONNOR - Not the highest volume.

Mr BARNETT - I am trying to answer the question, Mr Chair. So, what we do know is that the saw logs are by far and away the highest value output from forestry operations and the sawmills that operate in and throughout regional Tasmania are very important for delivering that value adding of our forest industry, which then helps build our homes and are used for the building and construction sector.

Ms O'CONNOR - Tedious repetition.

Mr BARNETT - The figures are publicly available as the Acting Secretary has indicated. They have just been read into the Hansard, although they are publicly available and I do not dispute the figures.

Ms O'CONNOR - That was one question I asked.

CHAIR - Mr Wood has the call.

Ms O'CONNOR - Oh, run and cover.