Woodchip Driven Logging in the Otways: An Economic Analysis
Commonweath Government legislated sawlog definition
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The Commonwealth Government has legislated a definition to stop woodchip driven logging for electricity power generation.
In a bid to reduce green house gas emissions, the Commonwealth government has created the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000. Regulations under this Act allow for biomass (woodchip) to be credited as a renewable energy resource from native forest if it is a genuine by-product or waste product from a logging operation (Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 Reg 8).
These regulations stipulate that clearfell logging in native forest must be for high-value process. High-value processes include production of sawlogs, veneer, poles, piles, girders, wood for carpentry or craft users or oil products. These regulations do not regard clearfell logging for residual logs or pulpwood as a high-value process.
This means 51% of the revenue from the products of a logging operation in native forests must be gained from specified high value products in order for wastes to be eligible.
Commonwealth Government Definition of Sawlog Driven
In setting the rules for crediting woodchip as biomass from native forest the regulations state:
(5) the primary purpose of a harvesting operation is taken to be a high-value process only if the total financial value of the products of the high-value process is higher than the financial value of other products of the harvesting operation.
The Commonwealth regulations provide a basic definition
of the sawlog driven concept. These regulations came into existence as
of the 6 February 2001