Conservation move a blunder: Omodei

FOREST Products minister Paul Omodei has called on members of the community to see through the conservation movement’s latest campaigns in the karri and jarrah forests.

The recent campaign at the Simcoa operation, in particular, was ill-advised, he said.

“This facility makes high grade metal used in solar cells, computer chips, engine alloys and medical products,” Mr Omodei said.

“It is true value-adding from a basic resource of quartz rock and low grade timber comprising mill residues, dead logs and green logs not suitable for other uses.

“There are procedures in place to divert any usable logs to craft wood sawmillers but, in reality, very few such logs ever arrive at the smelter.

“If the conservation movement had their way we would turn the clock back to the 1930s when unmarketable trees were left in the bush and ringbarked to allow the new seedlings to regenerate,” he said.

“In the past twelve months, the area of forest available for timber harvesting has been reduced by 160,000 hectares.

“As well as the reserves created under the Regional Forest Agreement, sixteen areas of old growth karri have been removed from logging plans.

“No credit has been given for the areas that have been removed from harvest plans and now the groups are turning to jarrah areas,” he said.

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