Yesterday Bega Shire Council approved South East Fiber Exports (SEFE) trial wood pellet plant.
Coming only days after the Australia’s largest wood pellet producer closed down and in contrast to the claim in their State of the Environment report namely ” . . . Council has a major role to play in the protection of the Shire’s natural attributes for this and future generations.”, the decision has been made without any substantive information on the only native forest biomass currently permitted for pellet production – timber mill waste from saw-logs.
For their part, it seems likely that the NSW Government will start to log National Parks as saw-logs on State Forests run out. If global circumstances change and SEFE decide to increase pellet production, changes to the relevant regulations could allow the use of any timber from native forests.
Given the NSW Government have dropped the protection implicit in the FSCKMF’s proposed ‘koala habitat categories’, in favor of as yet unspecified but definitely non-scientific ‘koala prescriptions’, anything seems possible.