Clearfell Logging in the Otway Forested Catchments - Water Yield and Water Quality Issues Otway Ranges Environment Network
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Invalid arguments used to comparing timber and water
The native forest hardwood timber industry argues that ‘downstream’
benefits should be taken into account when looking at the economic contribution of the industry. This argument is not valid when comparing timber and water values.
  • The argument is that hardwood logging, sawmilling and woodchipping have ‘multiplier’ effects by indirectly creating other jobs (and economic value) generally, and by creating downstream value-adding industries
  • However, the availability of additional water, as a result of not logging, is likely to have equally large (or greater) multiplier effects:
    • water is already a scarce resource in the region
    • industries with large growth potential such as tourism are water-intensive
  • Further, there appear to be no significant value adding activities in the region based on hardwood logging
    • only 6% of the logs taken from the Otway forest currently end up as furniture-grade timber (B+). Most timber is sold ‘green’ for low value-added applications where there is an increasing number of substitute materials (e.g. pallets)
    • There appear to be no significant local industries based on the further processing of hardwood (e.g. furniture production)
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