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Native forest fact sheet



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UJe'toK "native forest fact sheet

The Forests are not disappearing

Australia has approximately 43,200,000 hectares o f Native Forests.

7,100,000 hectares o f this are State Forests managed specifically on a sustainable basis for wood production. *

About 1% o f the 7,100,000 hectares is harvested and regenerated every year, which means that any area logged, on average, will not be logged again for 100 years.

The Forests are not logged for woodchips

Timber is from a natural and renewable resource competing with non-renewable commodities like steel, aluminium and plastics. Native Forests are logged for the purpose o f providing sawn timber for housing, furniture, and for use in the construction industry.

The waste from saw milling is then either converted into woodchips or burnt and wasted at sawmills. Similarly in the forests, trees from the harvest area unsuitable for sawmilling are either chipped or left to bum or rot.

If woodchipping was to stop, sawmills would still need the same number o f trees to be logged - the only difference is that the by-product would be wasted.

No animals or plants have been threatened by logging

The Federal Government’s Resource Assessment Commission determined with its exhaustive study into Australia’s forests (1989 - 1992) that there is no evidence that any plant or animal species has been threatened with extinction because o f the forest industry activities. Given that State Forests have been logged for more than 100 years, this is sound evidence o f the

resilience o f our forests.

Why not get all our wood from Plantations?

Australia’s wood needs are currently met about equally by domestic native forests, domestic plantations, and imports. Australia’s 1,000,000 hectares o f plantations could not supply further shortfalls from native forests - it simply means we import more from foreign forests.

Why don’t we use all the woodchips in Australia?

Due to political uncertainty about forests, companies are not prepared to make the very large investments, up to $2 billion, that is needed to build plants for pulp and paper manufacturing in Australia.

There is a provision in all export wood licences for chips to be first made available to domestic manufacturers for local processing. Only the surplus is exported.

FACT SHEET 1

AREAS OF FOREST PRESERVED

FROM LOGGING

SE NSW 50%

EAST GIPPSLAND 66%

WEST AUSTRALIA 46%

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS VIC 58%

TASMANIA 50%

GREEN AGENDA 100%

NO COMPROMISE

SURELY SUSTAINABLE LOGGING OF THE BALANCE IS BETTER THAN

IMPORTING MORE FROM OVERSEAS FORESTS