Very good news - reinstatement of native forest wood waste in the Renewable Energy Target (RET),

medium_Image Biochar (2).jpgThe timber industry welcomes the reinstatement of native forest wood waste in the Renewable Energy Target (RET), which was voted through the Senate earlier this week.

This common sense policy, which was a Coalition election commitment, was supported by
cross-bench Senators Day, Lambie, Leyonhjelm, Madigan, Muir, Wang and Xenophon. This
cross-bench support was vital in voting down an amendment put forward by the Australian
Labor Party and supported by the Greens and Senator Lazarus to stop the reinstatement of
native forest wood waste in the RET.

AFPA Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross Hampton said, “Until we grow square trees we will
always have a large amount of residues and offcuts from our sustainable harvesting and
processing operations. Bark and branches are left on the forest floor, providing mountains of
kindling for mega bushfires, or pushed into piles to rot away. At sawmills the offcuts and
sawdust pile up and add costs to small regional businesses. Now with renewable energy
certificates once more available for what is so clearly a renewable resource, these residues
will be able to be put to a better use. We look forward to seeing proposals for small scale
power-plants, which will enable regional communities with a sawmill, for example, in its
midst to convert from coal or gas fired power to bioenergy - reducing greenhouse gas
Mr Hampton said, “The use of native forest wood for the primary purpose of generating
renewable electricity is not eligible for renewable energy certificates under this legislation.
The use of offcuts and by-products of sustainable forestry operations to generate renewable
electricity makes sense. After all, what could be more sustainable and environmentally
friendly than using a waste product to generate electricity, noting that our forest industries
plant more than sixty million trees every year?”.
“The very same legislation was in place for a decade until 2011 (including for three years
under Labor) without any harmful effects. Our national forest industries will remain
amongst the most tightly regulated and carefully managed in the world and continue their
work in growing a sustainable industry for generations,” said Mr Hampton.