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Licence for Harris-Daishowa for Victorian sawmill waste



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MINISTER FOR RESOURCES i SENATOR PETER C

Pie 89/320C 15 November 1989

LICENCE FOR HARRIS-DAISHOWA FOR VICTORIAN SAWMILL WASTE

The Federal Minister for Resources, Senator Peter Cook, today- announced the Government had issued a licence to Harris-Daishowa (Australia) for the export of 150 000 tonnes of woodchips derived from sawmill waste in Victoria.

The waste results mainly from the sawing of the lowest quality grade sawlogs and consists of offcuts and other material rejected in normal sawmilling operations. A small amount also results from thinning trials in Victorian State forests.

Without an outlet for this waste, the residue would have been disposed of by burning.

"In view of the interest by the community in the forests of south-east NSW and East Gippsland, the Government has given very detailed and careful consideration to this application for export" Senator Cook said.

"There has been some debate whether the Victorian waste material could be used to substitute for timber resource coming from NSW national estate forests. My Department - in consultation with Graham Richardson's Department, the Victorian Government, and conservation groups - undertook a very thorough analysis of this possibility.

"To have tried to substitute the Victorian waste for resource in NSW would have caused significant job losses in the timber industry in NSW and Victoria."

"Jobs would have been lost in forest harvesting, in the sawmills and in the transport industry.

"The use of the low quality sawlogs from which this waste results is an integral part of the Victorian Government's timber industry strategy of maximising the value of material harvested from the forest. Sale of this waste is necessary to enable sawmillers to process these low yielding logs and, at present, there is no alternative use for the chips other than exports or burning," Senator Cook said.

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fi · "This decision has been made only after the most careful study and full consultations with everyone concerned, including conservationists. The essential point is that the material being chipped is waste. It would exist irrespective of any application by Harris-Daishowa to chip and export it."Senator Cook stressed that this decision was for this year only. Any further applications to chip and export Victorian waste timber would be looked at in the context of the future conservation and industry plan for the NSW south-east forests.This would involve discussions with the Victorian government on whether its timber industry plan would, in the future, enable substitution of Victorian waste for NSW national estate wood.The plan for the south-east forests will be developed in the light of the July 1989 agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW governments. That agreement provides for measures to identify and conserve the environmental values of the national estate areas and conjointly, industry studies to promote better utilisation of the wood-resource.The industry studies for the south-east forests include:. the feasibility of establishing a flitchmill to recover sawnwood from oldgrowth pulpwood currently being chipped. utilisation of small sized wood currently not taken for pulping and left on the ground to waste. the scope for increased value-adding manufacturing in the sawmill sector. the development of eucalypt hardwood plantations strategy.The study teams on plantations will begin shortly. The other three studies are now underway and will be reporting by next February.For further information: Shane Gilbert (062) 777480 Gary Quinlan (09) 4812222