Image for Biomass burning ... the better plan

Forestry Tasmania assistant general manager, Michael Wood, is unhappy that the Federal Government has removed biomass from the list of renewable energy sources in it’s carbon tax plan. (Mercury 18/7)

Mr Wood states “it (burning forest waste for energy) has the potential to reduce the perceived impact of our regeneration burns by up to 70%”.

Whilst particulate emissions are reduced by burning wood in such power stations the carbon dioxide pollution is virtually the same as if the timber were burnt on the forest floor.

Forestry Tasmania researchers have previously published a study showing that approxiamately 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare are released when a clearfell is burned.

The critical importance of forests as carbon sinks has been re-emphasised in a very recent article in the journal Science.

Simply by stopping the practice of clearfelling and burning native forests Tasmania could halve it’s carbon dioxide pollution.

A better plan would be for State and Federal Governments to sponsor trials of pyrolytic conversion of sawmill waste, forest fuel loads, and other organic waste materials to biochar.

Biochar can be stored on the soil enhancing fertility and water retention. A gas which can be used for energy generation is produced in the process. Win, win, win.

For more on biochar go to Wikipedia HERE:

• Govt rejects forest compo offer

Tasmania’s Resources Minister has revealed the Government has rejected a forestry compensation offer from the Federal Government.

Bryan Green told about 200 forestry workers that their rally outside Parliament House was a timely reminder of their frustrations.

The workers are demanding an immediate commitment of government funds to implement the forest peace agreement to end logging in most public native forests.

Mr Green did not reveal that the Government had already rejected one compensation offer until pressed by journalists afterwards.

“The Commonwealth have made offers but the offers at this stage are not acceptable to the State Government so we have to stay around the table and negotiate a position that allows the Tasmanian people to understand we’re getting fair recognition for a restructure of the industry here in Tasmania,” he said.

The Minister hopes a new offer will be agreed to by the end of the week but he refused to be drawn on a figure.

“No I’m not going to get into the discussion about the various parts of the agreement.”

“It’s suffice to say that we are still engaged with the Commonwealth with respect to getting an outcome here.

“We have to get an outcome and our job now over the next few days is to try to resolve this matter,” the minister said.

There was no money in the state budget for implementing the deal, but the Premier Lara Giddings has previously said she believes it is largely a Commonwealth responsibility.

Dozens of log trucks made their way to Parliament House in Hobart for the timber workers’ rally.

Buses brought workers from Gunns’ woodchip mills to join contractors and sawmillers from all over the state.

Workers are angry both governments are yet to commit funding to the peace deal, almost a month after the facilitator Bill Kelty delivered an interim agreement.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, says the Federal Government is committed to reaching a peace deal over native forest logging.

Ms Gillard has told ABC Local Radio the Government was in regular contact with Mr Kelty.

“We will continue to be engaged strongly with Bill Kelty, with the groups he’s working with and with the Tasmanian Government to work towards a resolution of this big issue, which is course has been a huge issue for Tassie and the nation for a long period of time,” she said.

Full story, ABC Online HERE

Examiner: ‘That’s the end of us’