Western Australia’s peak environmental group is calling on the WA Government to respond to carbon-dated proof that 600-year-old karris are being logged for woodchips in the state’s south west.
Samples were collected by the WA Forest Alliance from logs stored in a wood chipping plant and sent to a lab for carbon dating. The results showed that the sample, taken from a log close to the facility gate, was almost 600 years old.
Conservation Council of WA spokesperson John McCarten said, “The State Government needs to explain why it is happy to authorize trees older than Columbus, Joan of Arc or Shakespeare being turned into sawdust and junk mail.
“Over 90% of karris logged end up as waste or woodchips. Those woodchips are exported to Japan to be processed into paper, often the low-quality glossy stock used for junk mail. Very little goes to any of the higher-grade uses the industry touts, and almost all of that could be sourced sustainably without the need for clear felling.
“We stand by the WA Forest Alliance’s figures 100%. If the government wants to conduct its own studies we encourage them, because we know that the results will come out the same.”
The new information comes as the government continues to draft a new 10-year Forest Management Plan, which will govern logging in WA through to 2023.
In its current form, the draft Forest Management Plan proposes to increase karri clear felling and industrial logging of jarrah. It also proposes an increase in the destruction of marri trees, critical for the survival of endangered cockatoos, by 40%.
Mr McCarten said, “This is the first time scientific analysis has confirmed that karris this old are being sent to the wood chippers. The government needs to take a serious look at the scientific underpinnings of its new logging plan and find out what else the industry is trying to hide.
“For now, the good news is that the government agencies are required by law to consider all public comments received on their draft logging plans. This means West Australians have until 7th November to tell the government to reject the proposed Forest Management Plan and its huge increases to logging.
“This is an industry that only survives on taxpayer handouts. It’s time to pull the plug and end native logging once and for all.
“People can visit ccwa.org.au/decadeofdestruction and send a message to the government – West Australians won’t stand for 10 more years of destructive logging in our south-west forests.”
For further comment:
John McCarten, 0403 900 193