Friday, June 14, 2024

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Gippsland Times

Radial Timber taking on power

Radial Timber in Yarram, with a strategy already in place for its mainstream timber operation, has embarked on a new approach to using its wood waste that takes the company deeper into the heart of the sustainable, circular economy. Radial has installed a pilot plant that uses pyrolysis technology; organic material, in this case wood residues, is burnt at high temperatures without oxygen to produce biochar, a stable solid that is rich in carbon and can fertilise and endure in soil for thousands of years.

Farmers attack energy fast-track

The state government’s new policy to fast-track renewable energy projects by accelerating planning approvals has been strongly attacked by Victoria’s peak farming body and one of the state’s leading planning experts. The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) said the policy was a slap in the face after years of sham consultation with farming communities, while the RMIT Emeritus Professor of Environment and Planning, Michael Buxton, said it would lead to “terrible decisions”, with wind and solar farms being “placed in the wrong location".

VicGrid study area released

VicGrid has released its study area for the new transmission infrastructure through South Gippsland that will transport energy from offshore wind into the Latrobe Valley (LV) electricity grid. The study area starts about six kilometres from the coast near Giffard and travels north-west past Stradbroke West, to Willung, across to Flynns Creek and on to the Loy Yang power station.

Interstate farmers unite in the face of transmission lines

Victorian and Tasmanian farmer peak bodies have produced a policy for developers who want to build infrastructure, such as transmission lines for renewable energy, across their farmland. They warned that since the year 2000, Australia’s available arable land had been reduced by 15 per cent, much of it lost to infrastructure development and urban sprawl. The policy has been released as Gippsland farmers face plans for pipelines and transmission lines across their land as part of the state government’s energy policy, which aims to link offshore wind farms to the Latrobe Valley energy network.

Gridlock over transmission lines

Confusion reigns amongst farmers and other landowners in southern Gippsland as the state government's new kid on the bloc, VicGrid, has pushed aside their negotiations with existing companies over the various transmission projects that will be built across the region under the government's renewable energy policy. This comes across the background of the blackouts caused by storms last week that brought down transmission lines and electricity poles that led to the closure of Loy Yang A power station.

Cattle methane

Cattle Australia has urged the federal government to rethink the role of methane in the beef industry in its decisions on how Australia will tackle climate change in the future. CA, which is the peak council for the grassed beef sector, said a single focus on absolute emissions reduction under current carbon dioxide-equivalent accounting frameworks was detrimental for the beef industry.

End of an era for timber harvesting

Gippsland's hardwood industry is now largely gone, with harvesting of timber from native forests on Crown land no longer permitted. Gippsland's native forest is part of the vast swathe of forest that stretches along the Great Dividing Range from the Dandenongs to behind Brisbane. It’s integral to Australia having the seventh biggest forest estate in the world ...

Calls to rethink timber closure

Dahlsens is one of more than 40 Gippsland and Victorian businesses connected to the forestry sector who have written a letter to the Premier, Jacinta Allan, urging a rethink of the policy to close the native forest industry, arguing the decision has several direct and perverse unintended consequences. The businesses represent all aspects of the forestry supply chain, from contractors through to sawmills, processors, retailers and furniture manufacturers, and have 40,000 voting members.

FOI provided no real information on native forestry

Page after page of blacked-out documents and no real information - that was the result of Wellington Shire Council's attempts over almost four years to find out why state government decided to close the native forest industry ... "After almost four years, interventions by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) and considerable investment, a heavily redacted document was finally received": Cr Ian Bye, Wellington Shire Mayor.

Closure marred by vast contradictions

The Victorian government’s regulation of timber harvesting, which has led to the impending closure of Gippsland’s native forest industry in January, directly contradicts the joint national-state approach to ensure biodiversity alongside a timber industry over the previous 30 years, analysis shows ... When setting up the National Forest Policy Statement in the 1990s, the JANIS working group – conservation scientists and planners from all states and the CSIRO – drew up the criteria to form a CAR (comprehensive, adequate and representative) reserve system.