Bega gathering says NO to "Dead Koala Power"
About 40 people from various parts of the far south coast held a rally
in Bega today (Thursday 15th August) to oppose State Government plans to
lift its current ban on burning native forest wood for electricity
One of the organisers, Harriett Swift of the South East Region
Conservation Alliance (SERCA) said that the event was held to complement
similar actions at Parliament House, Sydney and Bellingen at the same
The draft regulation will allow the burning for electricity of any
native tree that isn"t a sawlog.
"The threat of replacing the woodchipping industry with a wood fired
energy industry has united forest campaign groups across the State," she
"The logging industry has admitted that it sees the regulation
providing an alternative market for woodchip exports and is tantamount
to a declaration of war on the koala in our region," Ms Swift said.
"Wood fired electricity is known in the industry as "dead koala power"
and is not clean, green or renewable."
"Although the Government has claimed that only "waste" will be used, a
careful reading of the draft regulation shows that in practice it could
mean even more intensive logging than woodchipping. It is because it
would allow some tree species not currently chipped to be burned.
"Importantly, some species that could be burned are important koala feed
tree species such as red gum and woollybutt," she said.
Participants presented a petition to the office of Andrew Constance MP,
the Finance Minister and Member for Bega from over 1,000 people opposing
the new Draft Regulation. They also presented
an article in a local newspaper from 2002 at a time when Mr
Constance was an enthusiastic supporter of forest campaigners against a
proposed charcoal plant at Mogo.
"Although in our region we have seen the proposed wood fired power
station at the Eden chipmill mothballed because subsidies were not large
enough, the woodchipping industry has been lobbying hard for this rule
change and hold grave fears for the consequences if it goes ahead," she
15 August 2013
Contact: Harriett Swift 0414908997
 "Under these changes, tree heads and off cuts of trees cut for
sawlogs or trees that might otherwise be made into pulp, can be burnt
for electricity generation."
 The executive director of the NSW Forest Products Association,
Russ Ainley has commented on the draft regulation, saying "the change
just fixes the anomaly and [provides] an alternative market for woodchip
96/ISSUE280.pdf - Timber and Forestry eNews 29 July 2013: 7
SAY NO TO "DEAD KOALA POWER" POWER.
Sign the on-line petition at