The recent high score awarded to the logging industry by the EPA for complying with environmental requirements (Age, Business 4/6) unfortunately doesn't take into account the huge impact that logging and burning native forests has on biodiversity, the survival of endangered species such as Leadbeaters Possum, or the resulting loss of water from our catchments.
Reporting high compliance levels with the weak and substandard Code of Forest Practice is hardly a commendable outcome. I have witnessed at first hand numerous breaches of the Code, and the rampant forest destruction that results even when the Code is adhered to. For example, most habitat trees left recently logged Yalmy forests in East Gippsland have now died.
The Government is wasting a lot of taxpayers money doing questionable audits on an industry now almost exclusively focussed on producing low-value woodchips that are nearly all exported. The audits don't include the huge carbon emissions that result when the logged forests are burnt. These native forests should be protected both to address climate change, and to ensure they can be enjoyed by future generations. Treating them like de facto plantations is just not on.
Logging audit gets high score