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Parliamentary question reveals one in four trees logged for firewood

New figures just released to Parliament show that more than one in every four trees cut down in the Southern Region is destined for firewood. The startling figure was provided in answer to a Question on Notice asked by Greens MP Forestry spokesperson, Dawn Walker The answer shows that trees logged for firewood have increased from zero in 2002 to 26% in 2016. Spokesperson for the Chipstop Campaign against Woodchipping Harriett Swift, who is also Deputy Convenor of the South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA) says that the new figures confirm what many have feared. She said that the firewood yield from logging operations has been growing steadily for years, but it was only in 2014 that the Forestry Corporation started including it in its Harvest Plans. “I am aware of at least one logging operation[1] where more than fifty percent of trees cut down were for firewood,” she said. “It is unbelievable that so many living, breathing trees are being cut down for no other purpose than to be burned.” “We have also seen an increase in trees logged for firewood in the Eden Region but it is far less than in the Southern Region. This reflects the continuing dominance of the woodchipping industry in that region,” she said. The Southern Region is roughly the area north of Bermagui. The answer to Ms Walker’s question reveals that in 2016 38,926 tonnes of trees from the Southern Region and 2,365 tonnes from the Eden Region were cut down for firewood. Ms Swift called on the Government to justify this: “at a time when forests are needed more than ever as carbon sinks and habitat for wildlife, it surely must be a sign of failed policy and management that they have no higher purpose than firewood.”

Above: Between 2,500 and 3,000 trees from SE NSW and East Gippsland are cut down every working day to supply the Eden chipmill CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia

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