What is Intensive Forest Management?
Imagine you are part of the logging industry in East Gippsland. The RFA is over and has given you resource security for twenty years. But noone wants to buy your product and 9 cents a tonne royalties can’t last forever. So what do you do? You get together with a bunch of your mates from around the country, invite a couple of people from The Dark Side (ie. greenies) who you can vent your frustrations on, act like you’re scientific and come up with "intensive forest management". It goes something like this:
Luckily for you, a comprehensive and adequate reserve system was created by the RFA. Thanks to this, Intensive forest management isn’t constrained by such pesky management obligations as the
maintenance of ecological criteria. Even better it will automatically meet certification criteria. That should shut those bloody greenies up, shouldn’t it!
In March this year, the Senior Forester in Orbost revealed plans to split the DNRE into two, creating Forestry Victoria which he described as a “service agency” for the commercial side of forestry. He denied that this was a step on the way to the corporatisation of the department. This change was announced by Marie Tehan in May, and the implications of the change became clear following the Intensive Forest Management conference held in Orbost.
Victoria will attempt to make the native hardwood industry more
commercially viable so that in the future it will be more attractive
to be sold to private enterprise - yet another public institution to be
privatised by the Kennett government. The Intensive Forest
Management agenda will be implemented by Forestry Victoria,
which is only concerned with economic, not environmental values
of the forest. At the moment the logging industry is so riddled with
inefficiency, government subsidisation, and corruption it is hardly
an attractive investment, but Forestry Victoria plans to change all
that, and our forests can only suffer for it.