Media Releases - 16 December 2022

Biomass decision shows parliamentary cooperation can deliver strong environmental outcomes in line with community expectation

A logging coupe.

The Wilderness Society welcomes the Albanese Government’s reversal of the Abbott-era decision to allow the burning of wood to generate electricity to be considered ‘renewable’.

Amelia Young, National Campaigns Director for the Wilderness Society says: “Closing the loophole that allowed logging native forests to feed electricity furnaces is in line with community expectations. Thousands of Australians, including nearly 6000 Wilderness Society supporters, asked the government to tidy this up—and they have.”

“After the Black Summer bushfires, the very notion that logging and burning native forests could be good for climate, nature, or for people was ludicrous.

“Logging forests makes them more prone to severe, frequent and intense bushfires. The last thing Australia’s precious native forests need is more logging.

“It is encouraging to see this Parliament working together to deliver for the environment—which is what Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen’s announcement today shows is possible. We thank the Greens through the work of Senator Janet Rice, and Independent Senator David Pocock for their leadership on this issue.

“In May when they voted, Australians sent a clear message that they expect this Parliament to act with integrity, and to make serious progress on climate and the environment. Today’s announcement shows this is a Parliament that can and will listen to the community when it comes to choices about clean energy, nature and people.

“The upcoming reform of the EPBC Act, as announced by Environment Minister Plibersek last Friday, must likewise take into account community views, especially if the reforms are to deliver on Labor’s promise to ‘restore trust and integrity to environmental decision-making’.

“It is critical that there are not similar loopholes for energy production ushered in when the country’s national environment law is reformed.”

For further information contact Tim Beshara on 0437878786