Letter: Barking up the wrong tree on timber value

Darcey Browning

Darcey Browning

HOW long is a piece of string? On tv I saw a report on a logging operation at Wild Cattle Creek.

Bellingen's mayor Dominic King was speaking on behalf of the anti-timber industry. The above mentioned operation is not within Bellingen Shire but as we know, some within Bellingen represent an activist group at the pointy edge of stop all timber harvesting, traditional farming, and in fact most extractive industries that supply us, including themselves, with everything they expect as the norm or their god given right.

Back to Wild Cattle Creek, where the crime was committed via the illegal extraction of two brush box trees. Displayed were the stumps of these two trees claimed to be 300-year-old growth.

A box tree generally has a large butt end and very large buttressed roots but by the rules have to be measured 300ml above ground level and anything exceeding 1.4 metres in diameter must not be cut even though the log may be quite small.

So they were nothing near 300-year-old growth, but were illegally cut, resulting in the contractors each being fined $2200 with Dominic claiming a slap on the wrist as each tree would be worth 10 times that figure - $22,000.

The combined cubic metre volume of these two logs claimed to be seven cubes. Milled, dried and dressed into premium flooring, the traditional use for brush box, at $6 a lineal metre, would retail at $8400 - a little short of $44,000 as claimed.

Without substantiation, how do these sort of claims in pursuit of the Greens' agenda remain unchallenged?

Darcey Browning, Thora

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