Phantom Timber Costs Taxpayers Millions

MEDIA RELEASE   3/3/2015
Recently released data proves that the $8.55 million spent buying back timber commitments from Boral last year was for timber that never existed and so will do nothing to relieve the severe over-logging of north-east NSW’s public forests.

NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said that the evidence is that the supply crisis is worsening and sawmill owners will again demand that taxpayers pay many more millions for phantom timber that never existed and was given to the millers for free.

“This is on top of a loss of $11.8 million last financial year on the Forestry Corporation’s native forest logging operations. The year before last they lost $15 million.

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Forests 4 Ever

NORTH EAST FOREST ALLIANCE

5th February, 2015

POLICY SHIFT SIGNALS END OF LOGGING IN 2018

The end of industrial logging in publicly owned native forests by mid-2018, their management for long-term water yield and carbon storage and the completion of the ‘world class’ forest reserve system are three of the key goals of a revised policy statement Forests 4 Ever, issued today by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA).

“The first of these is a major change in our policy. We cannot now support more industrial logging of our publicly owned native forests, nor can we accept demands that approvals be ‘rolled over’ for another 20 or more years,” NEFA spokesperson, Mr John Corkill, said today.

The revised position is significant because it calls for a phase out of all logging of publicly owned native forests in the north east region of NSW by mid 2018 and explicitly rules out any extension or renewal of a Regional Forest Agreement or Forestry Operations Approval beyond that date.

 

 

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NEFA says BORAL gives koalas a chance

The sale of BORAL’s hardwood business, which is now being sought according to a report in the Australian Financial Review (21 Jan 2015) could provide a safety net for coastal hardwood forests in NSW, and the Koala and other unique native fauna that live within them, NEFA spokesperson, Mr John Corkill said today.
 
 BORAL chief Mike Kane is reported to have said  last year that the timber business, which provides decking and flooring, was under review.
 
“Boral has persisted with a flawed business model for far too long,” said Mr Corkill.  
 
“The blackbutt timber they require for most of their  flooring and decking  is just not available in sustainable quantities and they have been told that for  over twenty years.
 
“The market into which they are trying to sell their flooring and decking is oversupplied with alternative products -most of which are significantly cheaper than BORAL’S solid hardwood line.
 
“The third factor is that the industry has relied too long on government handouts, even receiving $8m last year from the NSW Government for not cutting timber, and these subsidies cannot be guaranteed to continue indefinitely,” he said.
 
 A further   chop was made in BORAL's business model when, in 2014 They lost their Japanese woodchip market because they could not get the Forest Stewardship Council 's environmental certification for their North Coast hardwood logging practices.
 
“These factors are long-term and largely independent of economic cycles,” said Mr Corkll.
 
Boral's asking price for the hardwood timber business of $100m, was characterised by the Australian Financial Review as being optimistic.
 
The Australian Financial Review reported that there are few logical buyers for the asset, which Boral has wanted to be rid of for some time."
 

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