The Forest Wars

The Forest Wars

Author
Judith Ajani
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The Forest Wars explains why it is vital to end the conflict over Australia s forests and shows that there need be no divergence between development and environment.

After four decades, the wars over Australia s forests continue to collect scalps and to make strange bedfellows of politicians.

The forest debate played a role in ending the political careers of Paul Keating and Mark Latham and led to the extraordinary instance of John Howard embracing the leaders of the CFMEU's Forestry Division in the lead-up to the 2004 election.

And yet, as forest expert Judith Ajani contends, Australia is in the enviable position of being able to meet nearly all its wood needs from economically superior plantations. We have the potential to benefit fully from the value of native forests as carbon sinks, water catchments and wildlife habitat. There is no irreconcilable conflict between development and environment.

So why do the major parties not have coherent forest policies? Ajani reveals that standing in the way are silenced plantation interests, failing bureaucracies, destructive union behaviour and government-created super-profits from native forest woodchipping.

Forests again played a major role in the 2007 federal election campaign. The Forest Wars explains why there is an urgent need to end the conflict, and shows us the way forward.