13.2 C
Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

Push polling on ‘forest furnaces’ as Senate mulls RET

Latest News

Murwillumbah Hospital celebrates 120 years

A community campaign for a hospital in Murwillumbah led, in 1899, to two committees and a Board of Trustees being formed, and the selection of a 15-acre site. The hospital itself opened in May 1904.

Other News

Flood-prone land subdivision DA on exhibition

A proposal by developer Callum Sked to subdivide flood-prone land near the Mullumbimby Showground is now on public exhibition on Council’s website until June 25.

Cartoon of the week – June 19, 2024

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

The Village Grocer is shutting down

The supermarket near the roundabout in Byron, formerly known as Five Star, Handimarket, Spar Express and more recently as...

Have your say on Byron Bay’s foreshore 

Byron Council staff have proposed options and a ten-year vision for the much-used space, including the removal, or partial removal, of the carpark overlooking Main Beach. 

Greens Councillor Dr Nola Firth is running for council again

Dr Nola Firth has announced that she is again running for Tweed Shire Council in the upcoming 14 September...

Forrest Organics

Victoria Cosford At the Forrest’s stall while Dave serves and chats to customers, wife Sue is showing me the magazine...

(Very) old technology: burning wood to generate electricity is again being considered as 'renewable'.
(Very) old technology: burning wood to generate electricity is again being considered as ‘renewable’.

Push polling is being conducted in Tasmania over the burning of native forest biomass for electricity generation, coinciding with a controversial proposal to include it in the revised Renewable Energy Target expected to be voted on in the Senate in coming weeks, according to information received by Markets for Change.

The proposal to burn native forest biomass is being pushed by the Coalition and the forest industry in Canberra. Whilst opposed by Labor nationally, in Tasmania the state Labor leader has broken ranks in support of the bid.

It’s clear that some entity wants to claim public support for native forest biomass to go into the Renewable Energy Target to put pressure on the Senate in what is expected to be a tight vote,’ said Markets For Change CEO, Peg Putt.

‘It’s likely that the move is also designed to drive the Labor split in Tasmania on the issue further.’

‘We’ve been informed of this push polling which involved contact on the phone by an automated poll identified to the recipient as ReachTel. It presented an extremely biased description of native forest biomass burning when asking the person to indicate whether they supported it.’

‘This poll question is obviously designed to get support for this environmentally damaging proposition, and does so by misrepresenting it as just a minor bit of tidying up of sawmill waste and branches when it actually involves large volumes of freshly logged native forest, in the same way that woodchipping was portrayed as just cleaning up waste and actually became by far the largest volume industry in native forests.’

‘Given that in Tasmania generating electricity from forest furnaces is seen as a way to underpin controversial industrial logging following the collapse of woodchip exports from native forests, the question would have been more honest if it asked if it was a good idea to continue broadscale clearfelling and then burn the greatest proportion by volume of what is logged for electricity.’

‘The “robocall” also failed to point out that burning native forest is highly emissive of carbon dioxide, and not carbon neutral as claimed by the forest industry.’

Ms Putt said the best way to pose a question would have been to cite the Australian government’s statement about why burning native forests was excluded when Labor was in office, which is as follows:

‘In 2013 the Australian government stated: ‘Wood waste from native forests was removed from the RET as an eligible renewable energy source in 2011. This amendment was made to ensure that the RET did not provide an incentive for the burning of native forest wood waste for bio-energy, which could lead to unintended outcomes for biodiversity and the destruction of intact carbon stores.’

The person being polled could then be asked whether they agreed or disagreed that the exclusion should continue, Ms Putt said.

‘Beware of opinion poll results obtained by blatant push polling on the issue of burning native forests for electricity,’ she added.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Iron Gates L&EC appeal hearing comes to an end:  decision reserved – Part I

The long-standing, controversial Iron Gates case came to an end in the Land & Environment Court (L&EC) last Friday after a two-week Hearing commencing at Evans Head on 3 June and finishing in the Court in Sydney on 14 June. 

Supporting women’s mental health in Ballina

Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and one in five women compared to one in eight men suffer from mental ill health or disorder.

Lismore’s Freedom of Entry Parade

Lismore is set to host a Freedom of Entry Parade by the 41st Battalion, a time-honoured tradition dating back to medieval times

Inequity underpins solar-battery rebates

Over 3.2 million Australian households now have solar systems, and NSW leads, with a million systems (rooftop, heated pool or hot water).