End of North Coast export woodchipping – one threat reduced

The good news that Boral Timber is closing down its north coast export woodchip facility due it claims of falling demand and the ‘high Australian dollar’ is another serious blow to the native forest logging industry.

Susie Russell, president of the North Coast Environment Council is quoted as saying “ . . . This gives the NSW Government an opportunity to dramatically reduce the intensity of logging that is trashing north coast forests,”.

While that may be the case the problem has always been the Forestry Corps management system, based as it is on the notion that trees don’t grow back unless most of the standing trees are cut down.

Responding to the Shooters and Fishers proposal to ‘immediately’ open some National parks for logging Warrick Jordan, a Wilderness Society spokesman suggested “ . . . It is sheer lunacy to log our national parks, our most precious environmental properties, when the state’s only export woodchipper north of Sydney struggles to sell its woodchips,”

The State government is yet to support logging of National Parks, I expect because the process to date has been more about reducing constraints on logging private land.

Boral had apparently sought Forest Stewardship Council certification and although an audit of their operations has not been released South East Fiber Exporters’ Peter Rutherford, speaking on ABC southeast radio, didn’t think that had much to do with the closure and couldn’t see any negative impacts on their operations.

Similarly, champion of logging Vic Jurskis, responding to Prue Acton in the Eden Magnet suggested ” . . . Australia’s society and environment depend on human economy as they have for more than forty thousand years.” 


The map of land capability rating above is the same as in the Southern Rivers Catchment plan except this one has a 50 metre Class 8 buffer on watercourses in forested areas, because these are either affected by or susceptible to BMAD.

The obvious conclusion is that things look pretty crook at a catchment scale although as different landscapes have different capabilities, negative impacts will also be different at a sub-catchment scale.

This week, weather permitting, we’ll be undertaking some mapping of BMAD at Dignams Creek. The purpose being to map in detail current and potential Class 8 land in and around the proposed Princes Highway re-alignment and provide a bit more environmental detail to the map below.





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