VicForests’ claim that only ‘forest residue’, or ‘forest waste’, is sent to the chipper for use as biofuel, is patently false. Chippers are fussy beasts, they consume only straight logs – no bendy, branchy bits for them! And if the log is a little too big for the chipper, it doesn’t head to the sawmill, NO, it’s split on-site so that it will fit in. Take a look at these pics, showing a VicForests Tolmie coupe before and after harvest. 90% of this ‘forest residue’ is supplied to Murphy Fresh for chipping and use in their biofuel boiler (to grow hydroponic tomatoes). And if Murphy Fresh doesn’t want it, then it becomes a mountain of firewood for the people of Mansfield.
Q. Why is VicForests logging this 35 yr old forest, rather than letting the trees mature and develop high quality timber?
A. Apparently these fire-damaged trees will not produce good, future sawlogs. But why clear-fell the whole coupe? We can only assume that VicForests’ priority is to produce woodchips and firewood today and an even-aged stand of trees for future harvesting (pulp? sawlogs?).
If you want to know how to turn a healthy, growing forest into hydroponic tomatoes – click a pic and read on.
[All images by Doug Vance]
You could be forgiven for thinking we live in a developing country – what’s happening at Tolmie, looks a little like forest practices in Indonesia. Do DEPI and Minister Peter Walsh, or even Minister Ryan Smith, know that VicForests is trashing valuable public assets simply to grow glasshouse tomatoes? Either way, yes or no, it’s a travesty and will turn once healthy, multi-age, biodiverse forests into tree farms.