Blackwood Cooperative ignored in landmark report

Growing blackwood in farm forestry plantations as an option to secure and counter the declining supply from public native forest was omitted from the recently leaked report into the IGA wood supply scenarios. The 97 page report “Review of Tasmanian Forest Estate Wood Supply Scenarios” by Mark Burgman and Andrew Robinson was recently leaked to the media, with the final version being officially released today. It analyses many wood supply options and possibilities both plantation and native forest, both public and private, for the eucalypt hardwood resource. But it devotes just over one page (p. 9-10) to the issue of so called “special species”.

On the subject of blackwood it notes that beyond 2019 the supply of blackwood sawlog from public native forest is not clear, with a strong likelihood that the supply will diminish. And that’s it!

No mention of the proposal to grow blackwood in farm forestry plantations, which would not only counter the declining supply from public native forest, but would actually grow the blackwood industry many times larger than it has ever been.

The blackwood growers cooperative is the only positive proposal for the future of the forest industry in Tasmania that has yet emerged out of the IGA mess. The proposal was first made public in May last year. And still it continues to be ignored by the negotiators and the politicians.

This is just extraordinary, and very disappointing.

I have written to the authors of the report and Professor Jonathan West expressing my extreme disappointment at this omission. I hope I will receive some measure of explanation and some means whereby this error can be remedied.

The Tasmanian Blackwood Growers Cooperative must be placed on the IGA table of options to be seriously considered in the future supply of this valuable Tasmanian timber resource.

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