I read with interest the article about our protests of 30-plus years ago in the Tantawangalo. Like Fiona I am still wearing the scars of that campaign.
The past 30 years have proved beyond doubt the foolishness of our elected representatives in their management of this precious public resource. The rise of ecotourism has happened as we predicted. Global warming is here as we predicted. The destruction of our water catchments has happened as we predicted. But still our politicians manage our precious natural resources like they would a stolen car. Drive it til it drops.
The value of these forests always has been in their water, habitats and ecotourism. We have been, and still are being ripped off by ignorant politicians and greedy industries. Us and the workers are just pawns in this corrupt game.
As I cycle the beautiful mountain trails in Victoria and see their booming small town economies I despair at the foolishness of the NSW government in their destruction of our local asset. Andrew Constance is our local member and I call on him to please explain.
Eugene Collins BSc (Forestry), Bemboka
General manager of the Eden chipmill Kel Henry has told local media (Magnet, 11/11) that ANWE's new sawmill is on its way from Sweden. He has also told us that ANWE has not yet even applied for a DA from the Bega Valley Shire Council.
Likewise although the Environment Protection Authority has inspected the site, a search of the EPA Licence Register shows no application there either.
Mr Henry's confidence also extends to having secured the Eden sawlog quota. Unless ANWE gets this from Blueridge Hardwoods, the new mill will not happen.
So far there has been no formal announcement from the Forestry Corporation about the sawlog WSA. ANWE must be very confident of favourable decisions on all three. The woodchipping industry has been getting its way for 50 years now, but if I was about to spend $20million I think I'd want all three approvals in the bag first.
Further, Mr Henry says that the new mill will be "fairly automated," but will employ just 10 to 12 people. Blueridge Hardwoods currently employs approximately 55 people. Perhaps he could have been asked to comment on that.
If I'd had the opportunity to interview him I would also have asked him how the chipmill is coping when, until this week, Eden has not see a woodchip carrier in port for over three months. I would also ask him how ANWE can be trusted with a likely monopoly over the market for every tree cut down in the Eden region.
Harriett Swift, Bega
Pain with no gain
I experienced my first logging coupe in the mid '70s in the Eden hinterland. It was a scene of destruction with nothing spared. The trees were decapitated, with shards rising from the stumps.
There was a strong odour of diesel oil mixed with soil that had been churned by machines. It was a place to get away from but at dinner that evening in Eden our table was next to two captains of industry celebrating the signing of a new contract.
The logging of native forests to feed the chip mill at Eden continues four decades later. So much pain and no gain.
Jennie Minifie, East Ryde
Penalty to fit crime
These kids who are lighting fires should, when they are caught, lose their parents' home to pay for the fires they lit. That will teach kids to stop lighting fires. And the parents should hide their matches and cigarette lighters in a safe place and make their kids go out and fight the fires that they make.