Woodchip Exports Stopped as Rudd Neglects Forests

Major woodchip exports are disrupted today as forest conservationists take action at ports in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.

Media Release                    Monday 25 May, 2009

Woodchip Exports Stopped as Rudd Neglects Forests

Major woodchip exports are disrupted today as forest conservationists take action at ports in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.

This dramatic intervention is held by conservationists around the nation outraged at the Rudd Federal Government's failure to address the role of native forests in solving the climate crisis.

The national action comes following the expected delays in phasing in the Rudd Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which is grossly inadequate, and fails to address the essential role native forests play in storing carbon.

"One of the cheapest and most effective ways for the Federal Government to reduce emissions immediately is to halt the export woodchipping of Australia's native forests," says spokesperson, Lauren Caulfield, on site at the Midways export woodchip mill in Geelong, Victoria.

"Australia's native forests are rich natural carbon stores, but they are still logged at an alarming rate. More than 80% of what is logged is turned into woodchips. Logging releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere", says Harriet Swift, spokesperson for activists at the SEFE woodchip export facility at Eden on the south coast of New South Wales.

“Research by the Australian National University reveals Australia can cut greenhouse emissions by 24% by ending the logging of our native forests,”
says Nils Wiebken, spokesperson for conservationists occupying the Forestry Office of the Department of Primary Industries in Maitland in New South Wales.

"If Penny Wong and the Rudd Government are serious about addressing the climate crisis, then the protection of old-growth forests must be the basic part of a realistic climate change policy," says spokesperson Warrick Jordan, on site at the Triabunna woodchip mill in Tasmania.

"While the international community struggles to tackle the climate crisis, in Australia we are seeing irreplaceable old-growth forests continue to fall to the chainsaws and bulldozers", says Prue Acton. "As a wealthy minority world nation, Australia should be leading the way in forest protection. Continuing to log and woodchip our forests in a climate crisis is a national disgrace.”

Conservationists around the nation are calling on the Rudd Government to act immediately to protect old growth forests as vital carbon banks, and to halt to export woodchipping.

For more information please call:

Triabunna, Tasmania: Warrick Jordan 0418 684 383
Geelong, Victoria: Lauren Caulfield 0408 748 939
Eden, New South Wales: Prue Acton  0419 393 203 and Harriett Swift 0414 908 997
Newcastle, New South Wales: Nils Wiebkin 0410 759 279