Greens castigate Carr over broken chip promise

The Greens today joined local environment groups in condemning the Carr Government’s broken promises on export woodchipping.

Local environment groups have this morning blocked access to trucks entering the export woodchip facility in Newcastle to draw attention to the Carr government’s broken election promises.

Spokesperson for the Hunter Greens and The Greens candidate for Wallsend, Michael Osborne, called on the Carr Labor Government to honour its promise of eight years ago to end the logging of old growth forests and export woodchipping.

“The Hunter community is clearly outraged at current and proposed logging of old growth forest that are feeding these facilities,” Mr Osborne said.

“Not only are woodchips the lowest value product that comes out of our native forests, they are also coming from our most ecologically valuable old-growth and mature trees, that contain many species in danger of extinction”.

“Some of the forests that feed these facilities are nearby in the Black Bulga Range in Chichester, Copeland Tops near Barrington and Jilliby in the Watagans,” he said.

“Mr Carr should heed the words of the Hunter people. It is understandable that local people are cynical about both Labor and Liberal politicians who only seem to take an interest in this area before an election.

Greens MLC Ian Cohen said today, “Bob Carr wrote to me in March, 1995, and told me the Government would end export woodchipping by the year 2000. Despite this he continue to allow the export of old growth woodchips. In 2001 alone, more than a million tonnes of woodchip was taken from forests in the north east and south east of NSW.”

“The Premier maintains his government has solid green credentials, however critical areas of old growth forest in NSW continue to be turned into woodchips”, he said.

“The community doesn’t want this to happen, so why is the Premier not listening to the people?” Mr Cohen asked.

“Greens are asking the ALP to distinguish themselves from the Liberals in these areas as more and more voters are telling us how similar many of the policies of the major parties are”, Mr Cohen said.

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