Federal Labor must decide where it stands on the use of native wood waste as a renewable energy source, according to Coalition Forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck.
“Labor has sent utterly contradictory messages to industry. In the same week Labor MPs chaired and endorsed a parliamentary report recommending use of native wood waste as a qualifying renewable energy source, Labor tabled draft amendments to the Renewable Energy regulations that would rule out native forest residues,” Senator Colbeck said.
“Recommendation 15 of the House of Representatives’ parliamentary report Seeing the forest through the trees states: The Committee recommends that, under any version of the RET (or similar scheme), bioenergy sourced from native forest biomass should continue to qualify as renewable energy, where it is a true waste product and it does not become a driver for the harvesting of native forests.
“Yet in the same parliamentary week, the Government tabled an exposure draft of amendments to the Renewable Energy regulations that would disqualify native forest residues as a renewable energy source.
“Labor’s contradictory actions make no sense – until you consider them in the context of the Gillard Labor Government’s string of dirty deals with the Australian Greens.
“Yet again Labor seems to be kowtowing to the Greens, who maintain their ignorance of forest science and oppose native wood waste use on misguided philosophical grounds.
“The Greens have told Julia Gillard they don’t like the use of native timber wood waste so the Prime Minister has decided to rule it out – at the expense of Australia’s energy and forestry industries, as well as good science and genuine carbon reduction” Senator Colbeck said.
Report: Seeing the Forest through the trees:
Exposure draft: Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Regulations 2011