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Top timber for sleepers

Posted by: 6PR | 14 January, 2013 - 5:04 PM
Jarrah logs are rated as first, second or third grade.

A resleepering of WA’s freight rail lines has seen the demand for third grade jarrah logs increase. As a result high grade jarrah is being used as railway sleepers. Howard Sattler spoke with WA Forest Alliance Spokesperson Jess Beckerling and Forest Industries Federation of WA Executive Director Melissa Haslam.

Blog comments Your Say

  • In 2013, with less than 7% of WA's forest left and irreversible harms to our habitat environment, AND the forest products commission running at a loss, this is a "no brainer". However, the biggest threat is the "enabling legislation" that will promote and legitimise the next 10 year forest management plan. That's another 100 square kilometres of our forest gone. This is an election issue now. If we as citizens of this great state fail to pay attention to this issue then we will have contributed to this harmful future.

    Tom Hoyer Tuesday 12 February, 2013 - 12:16 PM
  • One of these women is working for an industry group. The other is working for a small, community environment group. Who has more to lose if logging is properly and sustainably managed? The industry group. I know who I believe, and it is not the one accusing the other of 'lies' 'misleading' and 'ridiculous claims'. I trust the calm woman, with the science, the insider info and the independent thought. I trust the woman who has nothing to gain, and nothing to lose. Not the one whose salary depends on logging.

    Annie Thursday 7 February, 2013 - 6:12 AM
  • People should really read this article to get an idea of the dire straights that our forests are in.

    Western Australiaâ??s catastrophic forest collapse - http://theconversation.edu.au/western-australias-catastrophic-forest-collapse-6925

    It really is time to end native forest logging in WA. The forest simply can't take it any more and the industry is failing anyway and needs an urgent transition to farm forestry and plantations.

    It's time for the WA government to come to its senses and start the transition.

    Frosty Wednesday 6 February, 2013 - 10:26 PM
  • Costing Us The Earth is a short film by the Preston Environment Group that relates the current dire situation of South West Western Australia's native forests and the need to protect and conserve what remains in its entirety and to now finally put an end to the destruction that is native forest logging. Narrated by Sallie Coulson of PEG.


    Forest Rescue Wednesday 6 February, 2013 - 8:02 PM
  • the industry should have closed down in 2000.we should have moved into plantation timber by now.but the forest products commision and vested interests rely on govt subsidies to keep this unsustainable destruction continuing these unconcioble people are bludgers living of my hard eared taxes

    peterbetuel Wednesday 6 February, 2013 - 7:32 PM
  • Several points: There seems to be considerable evidence from industry insiders that 1st grade logs are being used but obviously such people are not going to speak publicly or they would lose their jobs.

    But even if third grade logs were used it still means that huge numbers of mature Jarrah are being felled and used for sleepers which means that large swathes of intact ecosystems are being demolished. These areas of intact ecosystem are of course never replaced. What we get at best is even aged monocultures ( tree farms) that will never be allowed to reach full maturity. And in the rapidly drying Southwest due to climate change it is unlikely that even these plantation-like areas of Jarrah will be successful. This makes Melissa's arguments a nonsense that will only convince those who are completely ignorant of the realities of the situation.

    The argument that its OK to demolish what little remains of the Jarrah forests on the grounds that sleepers store carbon is also ludicrous since living trees also store carbon, but being alive are able to store it cumulatively over many years since they continue to breath it in and use it to grow.

    Yes it is true that the production of concrete and steel do emit greenhouse gases but forests fulfill a wide variety of other vital functions as well as storing carbon so on balance using concrete and steel is still the better option.

    Chris Irving Wednesday 6 February, 2013 - 5:46 PM

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