Bob Brown: Charges dropped over Lapoinya Forest anti-logging protest

Environmentalist and former Greens leader Bob Brown will not face prosecution over his arrest at an anti-logging protest in Tasmania's north-west.


Tasmania Police commissioner Darren Hine issued a statement saying the charges had been dropped.

"The decision not to proceed was made by Tasmania Police after receiving legal advice from the DPP," he said.

"In this case the DPP observed that it was difficult for police officers to determine whether a person was in a business access area or on business premises."

Read the full story on the ABC website.

Also see similar articles at:

Add your reaction Share

Abolish Failed Forest Deals

Regional Forest Agreements should end when they expire if not before

Swift Parrot. Photo: Henry Cook

For nearly 20 years native forest logging in Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and WA has received special treatment under commonwealth environmental laws. Other industries need approval from the commonwealth Environment Minister before taking an action that may affect threatened species or World Heritage. Native forest logging does not. The result has been catastrophic for wildlife and other forest values.

The environmental exemption for native forest logging is governed by Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs). These 20-year contracts, like the Coalition’s stalled ‘one stop shop’ plan, hand state governments the power to make environmental decisions about native forest logging. Numerous assessments show how comprehensively they have failed.

RFAs start expiring from 3 February 2017 (East Gippsland) followed by Tasmania, other Victorian RFAs, WA and NSW. Special treatment for native forest logging should end. RFAs should be abolished forthwith or at the latest when they expire.

A number of groups (including the Bob Brown Foundation) have endorsed the following RFA statement and will not accept extension, roll-over or renewal of Regional Forest Agreements. Any future proposal to log public native forests should be subject to commonwealth environmental laws in the same way as for all other industries.

Download the full RFA statement (PDF) here.


Add your reaction Share

ABC: Conservationists step up pressure to protect Bruny Island swift parrots - Convenor of Birdlife Tasmania Dr Eric Woehler does not believe the species can be managed without a logging ban on the endangered bird's habitat.


Dr Woehler said a logging moratorium would be a good first step.

"Destroying habitat for swift parrots on an island that doesn't have its predators is just another nail in the coffin."

Read the full article on here.


Add your reaction Share

Swift Parrot's plight on

The Guardian's "First Dog on the Moon" has honoured the Swift Parrot's plight with a cartoon: "First Dog on the Moon Institute National Scientific Survey of Animals Interesting Enough To Appear In A Cartoon Part 246 The Swift Parrot"


Take a look at the full cartoon on

"FSC accreditation is pretty easy to get you just have to NOT KILL EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!"



Add your reaction Share

Conservationists call for immediate protection of Swift Parrot habitat as species listed as critically endangered

Swift Parrot. Photo: Henry Cook

Bob Brown Foundation has urged immediate action by Tasmania’s Premier and Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to protect Swift Parrot habitat and cease current and proposed logging immediately.

Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber has called for immediate action to prevent extinction of a species rapidly losing habitat to ongoing logging. ‘Tasmania’s Premier Hodgman and Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt can avoid ongoing international shame of driving a unique species to extinction and take urgent action to protect the Swift Parrot.  It’s time for the politicians to act now and end all logging of the critically endangered species habitat,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘On Bruny Island and in the southern forests of Tasmania, habitat that is critical to the Swift Parrot is being logged. On Bruny Island alone, in the next three years, 500 hectares are scheduled by Forestry Tasmania for logging while the island is one of the last critical refuges for the Swift Parrot,’ Jenny Weber said.

IUCN has announced, worldwide, 40 more bird species are now classified as having a higher risk of extinction in the 2015 Red List, including the Swift Parrot.  The Swift Parrot is just one of seven species that have seen their status upgraded to Critically Endangered. The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the conservation status of plant and animal species.

‘The logging of Swift Parrot habitat on Bruny Island and in Tasmania’s southern forests are driven by Ta Ann, the largest logging company in Tasmania. One of Sarawak’s worst six logging companies, Ta Ann is still selling this conflict wood to Japan. It is long overdue that Ta Ann’s logging practices in Tasmania need to cease sourcing timber from high conservation value native forests. The home of the Swift Parrot is being lost for this controversial company, Ta Ann and needs to cease,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘The fastest parrot on earth requires the fastest action to protect it from extinction. Action can be taken to remove the greatest threat, stop logging its habitat,’ Jenny Weber said.

Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

Logging of Swift Parrot habitat on Bruny Island. Photo: Warren Frey
1 reaction Share

Forestry Tasmania under fire over tourist attraction

The Mercury, Sunday September 6 2015, NEWS 17 - article by David Benuik.

"Locals and environmentalists have raised serious concerns about cash-strapped Forestry Tasmania's ability to provide a world-class tourism experience around its reopened Tahune AirWalk.

Government enterprise FT closed down the attraction and its access road for six weeks during winter for maintenance and to log a nearby eucalyptus forest coupe."

See the related posts: "Forestry Tasmania Lockout", "Arve Forest Gallery", and "Arve Forest Logging Aftermath" for further information.

Add your reaction Share

Arve Forest Logging Aftermath

Logged coupe. Photo: Adam Burling. September 2015

As a follow-up to our press release "Forestry Tasmania Lockout" and article "Arve Forest Gallery", here is a photo of the effect of logging near the main tourist route (Arve Road) inland from Geeveston to the Tahune Airwalk and the Hartz Mountains National Park.

From forest:

Forests intact before logging. Photo: Dan Broun. July 2015

To log:

Log truck - with logs from this coupe. Photographed August 2015

Forestry Tasmania is currently about $30 million in debt. The tourist industry seems to be doing quite well. Perhaps this log is more valuable as part of a healthy forest along the road to the popular Tahune Airwalk.


2 reactions Share

Arve Forest Gallery

Dan Broun has put together a gallery of photos of the Arve Rd forests near Geeeston and the tourist destinations of Tahune AirWalk and the Hartz Mountains National Park.

"Conservationists are calling for an immediate halt to planned logging as Forestry Tasmania conducts a lockout on a main tourism route Arve Rd near Geeveston in southern Tasmania for the next six weeks and log ancient forests surrounded by five registered giant Eucalyptus trees."

Read the full press release here.


Read more
Add your reaction Share

Vote against inclusion of native forest biomass into Australia's renewable energy target

An open letter to Australian Senators from the Dogwood Alliance.


Dear Senator,

My name is Julianna Martinez, and I am a campaign organizer at Dogwood Alliance. Dogwood Alliance is an environmental non-governmental organization that works to protect the forests of the Southern United States from unsustainable industrial logging practices. We urge you to vote against inclusion of native forest biomass in Australia's renewable energy target.

There is a common misconception amongst lawmakers in Australia, that biomass energy is non-controversial and commonly supported in the United States and around the world. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The movement against the biomass industry is growing, and this issue has gained widespread attention, including pieces featured on NPR and in the Washington Post. We need leaders such as yourself to join the opposition to this misguided industry and to help mitigate the effects of the biomass industry.

Dogwood Alliance recognizes the dangers and fallacies of these destructive biomass industries. This summer, we are going on an “SOS: Save Our Southern Forests” tour to campaign against the biomass industry. We insist that “Our Forests Aren’t Fuel,” and we aim to educate citizens, policymakers, and industry members about the dangers of this false energy solution as well as pressure companies who stand to gain from this practice to put a stop to it.

European policymakers are increasingly promoting the clearcutting of Southern forests to burn them for electricity to satisfy their “clean energy” standards. However, this is not a climate-friendly solution, and in many cases it can release more carbon emissions than coal. Our standing forests gather and store carbon, which makes them a key solution for carbon pollution and one of our best defenses against climate change.

Additionally, the biomass industry is destroying wetland forests, and communities in the Southeast U.S will not stand for this. The industry has devastating impacts on our communities, our forests, and our local economies here in the Southern U.S. It poses serious threats to our health and lifestyles, destroys much of the biodiversity in the Southern U.S, and is entirely driven by unsustainable subsidies which creates unfair competition with our traditional wood products industries. The industry claims to use only wood waste, however, we have investigated different facilities and proven that they do not merely use residues rather they clearcut high volumes of whole logs from intact forests.

Dogwood Alliance does not support the biomass industry, rather we are in favor of alternative and competitive energy sources such as solar and wind energy. However, the inclusion of native forest biomass may further reduce the share of the Renewable Energy Target for wind and solar by up to 15%.

The inclusion of native forest biomass into the Renewable Energy Target could provide an incentive for the burning of native forest wood waste for bio-energy, which could lead to devastating outcomes for biodiversity and the destruction of intact carbon stores. Wood waste from native forests should not be an eligible renewable energy source.

We urge you to save Australia from going down the same destructive path as European policymakers have in the recent past. The inclusion of native forest biomass into the national Renewable Energy Target would have adverse effects on climate, forests, communities, and local economies. Vote against inclusion of native forest biomass into Australia's renewable energy target.

For Our Forests,


Julianna Martinez

Campaign Organizer

Dogwood Alliance

828-251-2525 x24

Add your reaction Share


Australian Forests and Climate Alliance.

We are scientists, researchers and analysts with a direct interest in the management, exploitation and conservation of Australia’s native forests.
We write to express our sincere opposition to the inclusion of native forest wood as an eligible fuel source for electricity generation under the Renewable Energy Target.

The inclusion of native forest wood in the RET is being driven in part by the idea that burning native forest wood for electricity production will lower carbon emissions, replace coal and be based on residues left from sawlog production. However, these pressures are misguided and superficial. We ask that you not accept them on face value.

Federal legislation should not allow for the burning of native forests to be termed ‘renewable’ and included in the government’s Renewable Energy Target.

The claim in early June by Environment Minister Greg Hunt that forest waste is better burnt even if creating CO2, than left to rot and produce methane is an extremely ill‐informed and concerning statement as part of a Parliamentary speech.

The definition of ‘waste’ is a key point and still remains without an adequate answer. Trees cut for pulplogs for paper production are considered ‘waste’ even when they comprise most of the logs taken from a forest. Australia should not be repeating the mistakes of the past 50 years of supporting a woodchip industry based on this distorted definition of waste.

There is currently a growing demand in the Asian region for cheap wood pellets to burn in power plants. This gives an incentive to Australian forest industries to provide the resource for overseas use as well. In fact the current situation points to this being the most immediate market and one which would replace the recently collapsed export woodchip industry. If Australia begins to supply this market the demand could be difficult to curtail in the future. It could intensify the industrialisation of native forest management beyond the current practices and cause irreversible impacts on forest ecosystems.

Medium to large wood‐fired generators are very inefficient and require huge volumes of wood fuel to produce a small amount of energy. Existing forest based biomass power plants in the USA emit at least 50 per cent more CO2 than coal, for the same energy produced 1. The 70MW Laidlaw plant in NH USA burns 113 tons of wood an hour. Such demands for feed‐stocks cannot be met by the ‘waste’ materials and residues.

Greenhouse gas emissions created by forest logging include the loss of soil carbon, the output in the post logging site burn, emissions involved in transporting the materials from forests to processors then to generators and the emissions created by processing logs to a form suitable for a furnace. The additional CO2 the trees would have absorbed if left to grow should also be part of calculations. Recapturing this carbon loss by regenerating the logged forest takes hundreds of years. This is far longer than the period in which we need to address the serious problem of climate change. 2 3

Drax, the world’s biggest biomass energy plant in the UK, is selling its power for £80 per MW/hr, two‐and‐a‐half times more expensive than coal, but last year received £340 million in ‘green’ subsidies. Without these subsidies, its biomass operation would collapse.

Native forests are a critical component to climate mitigation and should be protected and restored as an extremely effective carbon capture and storage tool.

Offering Renewable Energy Certificates to biomass burners or exporters would rob credits and therefore financial assistance from Australia’s true clean green energy alternatives.

Energy‐related subsidies should be spent on measures that reduce carbon emissions and overall energy use, and on genuinely low carbon and sustainable forms or renewable energy.

Using Australia’s native forests as fuel at an industrial scale would have long term impacts, ecologically, economically and would be counter‐productive to reducing Australia’s CO2 levels. At the very least a public inquiry is needed into whether using forests in this way can help reduce CO2 emissions.

We ask you to consider these points carefully and exclude native forest wood ‘waste’ as a fuel source in the Renewable Energy Target.

Yours sincerely,

1. Professor Peter Gell, Professor of Environmental Science, Federation
University Australia
2. Professor David Lindenmayer AO, BSc, DipEd, PhD, DSc, FAA, Fenner
School of Environment and Society, ANU.
3. Adjunct Professor John R. J. French, USC, Faculty of Science, Health,
Education and Engineering, Qld.
4. Don White, Adjunct A Professor, School of Chemical and Biomolecular
Engineering, University of Sydney
5. Dr Greg. P. Clancy, Ecologist, Coutts Crossing, NSW
6. Ian Penna PhD, Honorary Research Fellow, Federation University, Ballarat.
7. Dr Mark Aaron Gregory, PhD, Chemistry, University of Melbourne Vic.
8. Dr Steve Leonard, Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution, La
Trobe University Vic.
9. Linda Selvey, MBBS(Hon), MAppEpi, PhD, FAFPHM, Associate Professor,
Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,
Curtin University WA.
10.Steve Phillips, B.Sc.(Hons), Ph.D. Managing Director/Principal Ecologist,
Biolink Ecological Consultants NSW.
11.Alan Roberts, MSc Solid State Physics Melb University (1967), NSW
12.Mark Graham, B. App. Sc (Env. Res Mngmnt) ‐ collaborator with UNSW,
Macquarie, UNE, UTS, SCU.
13.Dr Oisín Sweeney, Science Officer, National Parks Association of NSW .
14.Annette McKinley, M. Litt (Botany), consultant plant ecologist, NSW.
15.Barbara Stewart B.Sc (Hons) Ph D, Consultant plant ecologist, NSW.
16.Lucie Bradley, PhD, Organic chemistry, science communication, Monash
University Vic
17.Fiona Sutton, Botanist B.Biol.Sc. (Hons.), Ecology Australia, Vic
18. Dr Peter McQuillan, Honours Programme Coordinator, School of Land and
Food, University of Tasmania.
19.Marion Carey, MBBS (Hons) MPH FAFPHM FRSPH, Adjunct Associate
Professor (Research), Monash University, Vic.
20. Elaine Bayes BSc (Hons), MSc, ecologist with Rakali Ecological Consulting
21. David Cheal, Assoc. Adj. Professor, Centre for Environmental
Management, Faculty of Science & Technology, Federation University, Vic
22.Damien Cook, Principal Ecologist, Rakali Ecological Consulting, Vic.
23. Dr Graeme Lorimer, PhD, F.Airqual, 'Director, Biosphere Pty Ltd' Vic.
24.Bertram Lobert, BSc, MSc, Ecologist & Conservation Coordinator
Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network.
25.Michael Calver, Associate Professor in Biological Sciences, School of
Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University.
26.Andy Baker, BSc (Hons), Wildsite Ecological Services.
27.Harry F. Recher, FRZS, AM, Senior Fellow, The Australian Museum.
28.David Milledge MRSc, wildlife ecologist (UNE).
29.Rhonda James, BBus M.EnvMan. Ecologist, Manager, Bushland Restoration
Services, NSW
30.Neil Marriott, B Ed. Environmental Consultant, Stawell, Vic.
31.John Kershaw, B.Env.Sc., Dip.Nat.Res.Mgt. Senior Botanist, Ecology
Australia Pty Ltd.
32.Keely Ough, Scientist, BSc Hons.
33. Bernard Mace, ARMIT, LIM, GMOO‐STS, RSV.
34. Geoffrey William Carr, BSc, Director, Ecology Aust Pty Ltd.
35. Ruth Marr, BSc(Hons), Ecologist, Ecology Australia.
36.Dr Linden Gillbank, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies,
University of Melbourne.
37.Doug Frood, BSc (Hons), Principle, Pathways Bushland and Environment.
38.Susie Duncan, BSc (Hons), Director, Hinterland Bush Links, SE Qld.
39.Dr Chris Belcher, BSc, MSc PhD, Principle Ecosystems Env Consultants Vic
40.Dr Heather Keith, Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU.

2. Logging native forests causes immediate emissions (around 60% of forest carbon in SE NSW forests is lost in logging) that
cannot be recovered except over centuries (an estimated 53 years to recover 75%, 152 years to recover 90%).

Add your reaction Share