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Woodchip Export Licences Announced

Media Releases

The Hon Wilson Tuckey
Minister for Forestry and Conservation

11 August 1999

Woodchip Export Licences Announced

The Minister for Forestry and Conservation, Wilson Tuckey, today announced the granting of woodchip export licences to three firms - Midway Products, Dallas Glenn Pty Ltd and Harris Daishowa Pty Ltd.

The licences allow the firms to export woodchips through the remainder of this year.

Mr Tuckey explained that under the national woodchip export ceiling, the volume for these licences became available at the end of 1998.

"Hardwood woodchip export licences were issued in 1996 on a 'use it or lose it' basis" Mr Tuckey said.

"When two companies did not export the minimum volume required by the regulations under the Export Control Act, their licences were invalidated by the regulations and the volume of 240,000 green metric tonnes under those licences became available for reallocation.

"These new licences allow the export of up to 195,000 green metric tonnes of woodchips produced from sawlog-driven harvesting operations in Victoria. If not exported, this residual wood would otherwise be burned or left on the ground to rot."

Mr Tuckey said he was looking forward to finalising remaining Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) for Victoria by the end of this year.

"Finalising the RFAs to achieve a comprehensive, adequate and representative (CAR) forest reserve system, as well as establishing a certainty for industry in that State that it has not seen for well over a decade, is my top priority," he said.

"In the meantime, these export licences allow at least 18 sawmillers across Victoria to receive an income from waste for which they would otherwise incur the cost of disposal."

Mt Tuckey emphasised that the granting of these licences would not lead to any further harvesting.

"The export woodchips can only be sourced from those areas agreed as available for harvesting under the Deferred Forest Agreement between the Victorian Government and the former Labor Government in December 1995," he said.

"The woodchips will not be sourced from any area which may be required for the CAR forest reserve system."

Mr Tuckey said that before issuing the licences, he had sought advice from the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Robert Hill, pursuant to the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act.

Senator Hill had determined that neither an environmental impact statement nor a public environment report was required.

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