Australia’s premier professional body for forest scientists, forest managers and forest growers, the Institute of Foresters of Australia and Australian Forest Growers has condemned the Andrews Government decision to end natural forestry in Victoria as ‘short-sighted.’
Bob Gordon, Federal President of the IFA said, ‘The Andrews Government ban is poor public policy with clearly predictable and undesirable outcomes.
‘Daniel Andrews has lost perspective on environmental issues and is prepared to visit significant damage to rural and regional communities, especially in Gippsland, for no discernible gain to the environment.
‘The claimed climate change benefits are indefensible because they ignore the science regarding proven atmospheric carbon sequestration from sustainable forestry and use of timber products to displace steel and concrete in buildings.
‘Wood is the ultimate renewable and there is no short, medium or long-term benefit in forcing a largely rural industry to close that produces renewable products and climate-friendly building materials.
‘In the absence of a domestic hardwood industry we will simply import more hardwood of questionable provenance from the Asia-Pacific region,’ said Bob.
The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (2007), noted that: “In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual yield of timber, fibre, or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit”.
These findings have been re-enforced by independent studies based on forestry in south-east Australia.
At the very time that foresters and firefighters are warning of a devastating build-up of fuel in Australia’s forests the Andrews Government has decided to make things worse. It is irresponsible to remove the forestry workforce and compound the loss by closing much of the road and track network used to combat fires.
 Harvested forests provide the greatest ongoing greenhouse gas benefits. Fabiano Ximenes, et al. Agriculture NSW, Rural Climate Solutions (an alliance between NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England), Forests NSW, NSW Department of Trade and Investment