The Plantation Forestry Scandal
The following case study is of a plantation near Shannon Creek established in June
2008 by Forest Enterprises Australia, with the full approval of the Department of
Primary Industry and and all other relevant agencies.
Unfortunately, the Plantation and Reafforestation Act, 1999, is totally ineffective,
with, it seems, none of its stated regulations able to be upheld in a court of law.
The Act states that plantations must be established:
“on land that was
predominately non forest prior to 1
st
January 1990".
But what is the definition of
predominately. It is clear from the picture below that a lot of trees have been
removed from this 15 to 20 hectare section, where none remain standing despite the
code's requirement that:
If a plantation is 30 hectares or more:
(a)
at least 30 native habitat trees must be retained on any given 30 hectares of
plantation, or
(b)
if there are less than 30 native habitat trees on any given 30 hectares of
plantation, all those trees must be retained.
One assumes that a plantation of 15 to 20 hectares such as the above, should
have 15 to 20 habitat trees remaining. However there is, as always, a way out:
“If possible, habitat trees should be retained in groups of 2 or more to minimise
the impact of this requirement on plantation design and to reduce loss of
biodiversity.
Another view of the same plantation can be seen below.