$80/cu m – that’ll be roughly the value of timber from Barjarg Flat coupe, once the trees have been converted to firewood. Vicforests is at pains to convince everyone that only the rubbish leftover from their logged coupes is used for firewood, but one look at the yard that sources firewood from local forests, puts paid to that fiction. These images show that Vicforests is plundering local forests for a quick buck and the lowest quality forest product – firewood! Firewood is not a by-product of local logging – it appears to be driving the whole enterprise!
Firewood is certainly a useful commodity, but can Environment Minister d’Ambrosio honestly sit on her hands while some of the best Greater Glider habitat in Victoria might be turned into firewood by Vicforests? Perhaps these photos of the local firewood yard just outside Mansfield will help convince her that the process that is meant to protect threatened species, also allows their habitat to be logged for firewood – the system is broken!
As it happens, one of the main contractors that Vicforests uses to log in the Strathbogie and nearby Tolmie forests, is also a major supplier of firewood into the regional market and last year he talked up the expansion to his business brought about by logging high conservation value Strathbogie Forest: “I employ three full-time staff and have taken on an additional four staff for the duration of this operation” he said proudly.
This is the perverse legacy that the Regional Forest Agreements have left us with. Species like the Greater Glider and Powerful Owl, listed as threatened by the Australian and Victorian Governments, currently have no protections at all in our state forests, so Vicforests feels it can log their habitat with absolute impunity! Of course, this is yet another reason (one of many) why Vicforests have failed FSC accreditation.