Paul Omodei

Paul Omodei


    Minister outlines key facts about old growth forests

    17/01/2001 3:22 PM

    Forest Products Minister Paul Omodei said today the arrival of Liz Davenport on the electoral scene would probably lead to all sorts of misleading figures about the State’s forests.

    “When it comes to saving old growth forests,” Mr Omodei said, “these are the incontrovertible facts: this government has already permanently reserved from logging 86 per cent of our old growth karri, 70 per cent of old growth jarrah, and 100 per cent of old growth and two-tier karri/tingle.

    “Logging in karri/tingle forest ended in December 1999.

    “There will be no logging of old growth karri after 2003, and the total karri harvest from regrowth forests only will come down from 170,000 cubic metres to 50,000.

    “The total jarrah harvest will come down to 286,000 cubic metres from 2004.

    “Comparisons with the total area of the State or with what might have been if we hadn’t built Perth or any other towns, roads and farms are meaningless.

    “The second serious distortion in the forest debate is the implication that non-old growth forests are environmentally inferior because they have been ‘destroyed’ by harvesting.

    “Shannon National Park, Big Brook forest near Pemberton, and Boranup forest in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park near Margaret River are just a few examples of how beautiful and valuable regrowth forests are.

    “The State Government has reserved the great bulk of our remaining old growth forests and has also reserved all types of forest ecosystems.

    “In support of these reserves, the Government is putting the timber industry through a major restructuring program to achieve more value and more employment from smaller volumes of native timber.

    “This restructure will ensure the continued security of the families and communities who have provided the State’s timber needs for generations.

    “There is a plan to handle the restructure and it is working, as recent announcements about new value-adding industries at Greenbushes, Nannup and Manjimup have shown.”

    Media contact: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700