Logging native forests for fuel for power stations would destroy Koala habitat, raise air pollution and boost greenhouse gas emissions, according to Greens MP John Kaye, couriermail.com.au reported today.
The New South Wales (NSW) Environmental Protection Agency had flagged changes in regulations that currently barred the burning of native forests to generate energy. The changes would allow burning of trees that might otherwise have been made into pulp for electricity generation, the report said.
According to Dr Kaye, the move was aimed at rescuing designed an already heavily subsidised but failing woodchip industry.
"The O'Farrell government is about to expose the native forests of NSW to a whole new form of exploitation, with appalling consequences for the survival of native animals, the health of the local environment and the state's carbon emissions," he said in a statement today.
According to Dr Kaye, the government was throwing the industry a lifeline so it could "continue to harvest tax payers' dollars" even as it escalated the destruction of the state's natural heritage.
He said sound economic and environmental policy would have long ago stopped wood chipping and other low value-added exploitation of the state's native forests.
Slamming the government for allowing the industry to turn koala habitat into electricity, while boosting emissions, he said allowing native animal habitat to be turned into electricity was neither green nor economically sound.