15/10/2008 - 22:00

A tale of two timbers

15/10/2008 - 22:00

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THE business of putting more trees in the ground and keeping them there may soon become one of the more viable options for the forestry sector, with two announcements this week a sign of the times.

A tale of two timbers

THE business of putting more trees in the ground and keeping them there may soon become one of the more viable options for the forestry sector, with two announcements this week a sign of the times.

Last Thursday, timber products giant Gunns announced it would close its Yarloop Mill after the facility became unviable.

The closure will result in the loss of 29 full-time employees.

The mill is another casualty of the restructuring of the timber industry started almost four years ago, which aimed to protect the state's old growth forests.

Over the past couple of years, the timber industry has been plagued with issues surrounding diminishing volumes and lower-quality log supply.

Timber Communities Australia WA said the closure was a result of the inaction by the previous state government to resolve some of the quality issues forced upon the industry by, what it called, over-precautionary principles of the new forestry management plan.

Also this week, the state's largest energy retailer entered the burgeoning carbon permit industry, announcing a major tree-plating project with the Forest Products Commission.

FPC will plant 6.5 million eucalypt trees for Synergy, which will take ownership of the carbon permits the project creates.

The tree planting area is about 12 times the size of Kings Park.

Synergy managing director Jim Mitchell said that, while a lot of renewable energy technology was a long way off commerciality, carbon permits were a relevant and important part of the climate change equation.

"[This agreement] will provide Synergy with carbon permits as part of the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and puts us at the forefront of what will be a substantial industry in the future," he said in a statement.

"It is important Synergy is carbon ready as a business. Carbon permits will be an important part of our product suite, just as renewable energy is."

The FPC is one of more than seven tree-based sequestration providers working out of WA.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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