Logging nominated for waste prize
A local forest activist is in the running for a $1,000 prize from the State Opposition Waste Watch Committee in a competition to find the best example of NSW Government waste.
Chipstop convener, Ms Harriett Swift has nominated native forest logging by Forests NSW in the competition currently being conducted by Jonathan O'Dea MP, chair of the Waste Watch Committee.
Ms Swift says that native forest logging " overwhelmingly for woodchips " costs NSW taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
"If Mr O"Dea doesn"t want to take my word for this, he can ask the Auditor-General," she says.
In April this year, the Auditor General found that the Native Forest Division of FNSW lost $14.4 million in 2007-8.
"FNSW under prices trees from public forests, and doesn"t even recover its costs of production, according to the Auditor General."
Ms Swift says that the Auditor General recommended that FNSW should simplify and improve timber pricing by introducing a new transparent pricing system by December 2009 to ensure log production costs are recovered.
"This has not happened," she says.
"I would be very happy not to win this competition and if FNSW puts up its native forest log royalties between now and the closing date next March I will accept defeat gracefully," she says.
"However, the fact that the Auditor General"s recommendation has been ignored, means that NSW taxpayers must expect to keep on forking out this subsidy into the future," she says.
"This is not just a serious example of waste in public sector management, it enables Eden woodchips to under cut plantation chips in the international market place," she says.
7 December 2009
See: www.jonathanodea.com.au . Examples of State Government waste can be submitted by March 15 2010