Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s speech by Prime Minister Abbott who called the logging industry “the ultimate conservationists’, the NSW Government today made a regulation allowing native forest to be burned in power stations opening the way for it to be classed as a ‘renewable energy source’.
“The government wants environmentally conscious consumers to pay for the destruction of endangered species habitat,” said NCEC President Susie Russell.
“It will also allow the already heavily subsidised mining industry to burn native forests and woodlands to generate their electricity and seek renewable energy credits.
“COALition Governments have no respect for forests. They can’t see the trees for the wood. It seems they will stoop to any depths to pursue their anti-green anti-environment agenda. Claims that this will not increase logging and will be overseen by the EPA are farcical.
“The Government is in the process of winding back a whole raft of forest protection measures in the name of efficiency.
“The EPA has been shown to be a toothless tiger that has failed to act on evidence of breaches, and when it has been roused to action only manages to deliver pathetic slaps on the wrist such as letters or paltry fines. The community has no confidence in the EPA being able to regulate forestry.
“There is plenty of scientific evidence to show that older trees store more carbon, provide better habitat, produce more water of higher quality, provide more nectar and honey, are more resilient to fire and have greater appeal to humans on aesthetic and spiritual grounds.
“Everything this taxpayer subsidised logging industry is doing compromises all of those positive values.
“This will be another nail in the coffin of the renewable energy industry that is being sabotaged by COALition Governments at both State and Federal levels determined to prop up an energy sector based on either fossilised wood or now, living wood,” Ms Russell said.