The Guardian March 19, 2003


No charcoal no woodchips

by Charcoal Busters

Who says the charcoal plant nightmare has gone away? The threat still hangs 
over the South Coast and other regions of NSW.

Australian Silicon is in discussions with "government" about the future of 
its Silicon project and associated charcoal plant.

The community won the fight against the Mogo Charcoal Plant on the South 
Coast in September 2002. Now, the company has decided to build a bigger, 
integrated silicon smelter and charcoal plant, producing 40,000 tonnes a 
year of silicon.

This means up to 300,000 tonnes a year of native forest "up in smoke" 
unless the company finally admits defeat and uses an alternative, but more 
expensive, "reductant".

It also means up to 30,000 additional heavy timber truck movements a year 
along the Princes Highway and local roads.

The company won't say where it is looking to build the new plant  only 
that the public will be told AFTER they have settled the details with the 
government and "community representatives"  sounds like Mogo all over!

The company won't say whether the new site is in Victoria or NSW but the 
Victorian Premier already has banned the use of native forest timber for 
charcoal in Victoria.

It seems NSW communities will have to fight off this monster yet again, or 
other similar proposals to massively extend woodchip type operations.

But we have already done this three times in the last three years, at 
Dubbo, then Gunnedah, then Mogo. Who is next? Braidwood, Queanbeyan, Nowra, 
Eden, or the Nature Coast again?

Why should yet another community go through this? Why should our forests 
and catchments be put at risk from such archaic proposals?

The Premier must act to put an end to conflict over charcoal once and for 
all by ruling out the use of native forest wood for charcoal production.

Then he should honour his 1995 election promise to stop the export 
woodchipping!

To help or for further information contact

Noel Plumb, Charcoal Busters
A member of the South Coast East Forest Alliance
Ph: 02 8800 8303

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