Lorne and others ... The area is Goonoo State Forest. The National Parks
Association of NSW and the Dubbo Field Naturalists are campaigning to have
the area transferred to national park. We had hoped that the western RACAC
process might hasten matters but in a fit of stupidity one part of the
government was not in a mood to listen to the rest of the government. Hence
a proposal for sourcing wood supplies for a silicon smelter at Lithgow.
There is a joint venture to investigate the potential for the development of
a silicon smelter at Lithgow.
The production of silicon requires quartz pebbles (mine site near Cowra),
charcoal (wood from central west forests), coal and woodchips in an electric
Estimate of charcoal needed 26,000-28,500 tonnes per annum. This translates
to between 100,000-150,000 tonnes of green timber required. Conservationists
have a number of concerns regarding the environmental impact of the
State Forests is currently carrying out a feasibility study to see if they
can provide the required timber. Only vague figures have been released by
State Forests, no harvesting plan or production figures have been supplied.
While State Forests were open in acknowledging conservation concerns they
were vague in giving any detailed responses relating to specific quantities
of timber, where the timber would be harvested. They made assurances that
any harvesting plan would be ?sustainable? and that harvesting would not
create a one age forests.
State Forests suggested that if the proposal goes ahead they will carry out
a trial plot in Goonoo SF and complete an assessment, harvest at the
prescription, and complete an assessment to show the public that the
harvesting plan is satisfactory.
One of the alternatives which has been mentioned is to import coal from NZ.
At present it has been estimated it is more economic to import the coal than
to produce the required charcoal in Australia. Based on the available
information so far the economics of the proposal are quite dubious.
Preferences for the timber sources is as follows:
(most preferred) New England Blackbutt
Broad leaved and Narrow leaved Ironbark
They propose to use cypress saw dust and saw mill leftovers from tableland
forests as well as new raw material from central west forests. The use of
off cuts from other industries thus creates a market for what are currently
seen as waste products.
One major advantage if the proposal goes ahead is that the resultant
charcoal market will pay for the thinning operation in the ironbark forests
which State Forests sees as necessary to ?open up the forest? and ?make it
State Forest needed to provide figures on quantities to the Premiers
Department by the end of June 99. Then a consultant will be engaged to
review the figures given.
If the proposal goes ahead production will be in 2001 - 2002.
Obvious environmental concerns associated with the increase in scale and
intensity of logging in the central west forests that this proposal
requires. Age structure of forest, hollow formation, endangered and
threatened species impacts and threats to biodiversity and landscape
Thanks for your concern and feel free to contact the NPA if you would like
to help in this campaign. I am aware of at least two active mallee fowl
mounds in the park.
PO Box A96 Sydney South 1235
From: lorne <>
Date: Wednesday, 21 July 1999 11:14
Subject: birding-aus regent malleefowl
>Last night on ABC news with Richard Morecroft, there was a feature on
>the malleefowl and Regent Honeyeater, which may be under further threat
>at their home in a national park (Goolgong or something) near Dubbo,
>mid-north-western NSW. Apparently, some of the ironbark woodland is
>going to be destroyed - the trees to be turned into charcoal and other
>product. I'm a bit hazy on all the details. Can anyone fill me in
>further? I was also unaware that there was a small population of
>malleefowl in this national park/district.
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