Future of timber lies in hardwood

Image-Brian Malone at Buladelah (2), 14 October, 2014.jpgLuke Foley, aspiring NSW Labour leader proposes to turn all North Coast hardwood forests into National Parks. He also strangely claims that the future of timber production is in plantations. And in so doing, Mr Foley believes this will 'Save the koala'! and balance the budget.

Well wait a minute.

There is lots of evidence that koalas live in regrowth forests that have been logged selectively. Plantation timber is mostly just a source of pulp and hardly a substitute for hardwoods. North Coast hardwoods are amongst the finest timbers in the world extensively used in building, furniture and a thousand other essential products. We read recently that timber is being used as an ingredient in toothpaste.

Regarding the economics, Maree McCaskill, General Manager of TimberNSW says it very well:

"Comparing the management costs of national parks to that of native hardwood state forests, Timber NSW quoted figures released this year by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as Forest Corporation data.

“Last financial year it cost the taxpayer $412million for the National Parks and Wildlife Service to manage our national parks, reserves and state conservation areas,” Maree McCaskill said.

“This equates to a cost of $55 per hectare per year or, coincidentally, $55 per year for every person in NSW.

“In contrast it cost the taxpayer $17.6million for the Forestry Corporation to look after our native hardwood state forests, which equates to $8.67 per hectare per year or $2.40 per year for every person in NSW.”

Ms McCaskill said there was “rubbish management in our national parks”.

“I’ve had to question everything to do with national parks since taking this job,” she said.