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Your views: on Kangaroo Island timber plantations

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on a company’s threat to burn thousands of hectares of forest after the State Government axed its plans for a timber port.

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Commenting on the story: State Govt now on mission to save Kangaroo Island timber from bonfire

Why did the company plant so many trees if it didn’t have a plan to get them off the island? The trees must have been growing before the idea of a port was mooted?

Why not build a sawmill on the island and process the timber there? John Clayton

The process and outcome related to this issue is absurd. If we accept a port facility is not proceeding, then surely any transient environmental effects of barging out the timber are far outweighed by the environmental, economic and social effects of torching this valuable and renewable building resource which is short supply.

For now, a focus on outcomes is required. Investigating the process that led to the situation should also follow. – Borvin Kracman

KIPT “plans to revert 18,696 hectares of its land to agriculture – a decision that will involve uprooting and burning about 14,500 hectares of pine and blue gum plantations”.

With wildfires burning across vast tracts of land in the United States, Turkey, Greece, and elsewhere, it is great to see this South Australian firm offering to do its part to help fuel the global climate crisis.

Well done, KIPT. The planet salutes you. – Jim Lesses

I am a retired forestry officer and forestry consultant with some knowledge of the KI forest resource, even if that information is now more than a decade old.

It seems to me that much of the material being presented to the public is motivated by politics and in particular promoted by those who seek public funding to improve their financial benefit from the disposal or processing of this timber.

It is unfortunate that forestry on KI has been subject to a series of errors, beginning with ineffective establishment practice by those involved with the original pine plantation scheme and, more recently, an inability to realise that a forest based industry requires a critical mass of similar raw material to be economically viable.

This resulted in a total forest area where neither the pine or the eucalypt resource were able to reach that critical mass. Probably the total area of land suitable for forestry on KI is sufficient for either a hardwood or a softwood industry but not both.

Added to these problems is the more immediate problem of logs deteriorating after being burned 18 months back. Timber  processed from these will be progressively reduced in quality to the point where it will be unsuitable for construction before many more months. Can we build a port in that time?

I’m sure there could be a viable forestry industry and a more substantial port on KI, and both beneficial to the KI community as a whole, but only if it is based on some planning policies without the use of rose coloured glasses, not using the current situation as an excuse. – Tony Cole

Warning that Kangaroo Island forests will burn again after port bid axed

I am appalled that we would even consider burning 300,000 tonnes of usable timber when it is badly needed here on the mainland.

Australia is striving for zero carbon emissions by 2050, but this burning will set us back by at least 10 years. If no more wood plantings are made, the transport of this wood from the Island has an end date to it, so for the good of all Australia, a port must be made available to bring the wood off. Kingscote and Penneshaw are already functioning ports and should be used.

And the people of KI must decide whether they want the smell of burning wood in their homes and on their washing for months, or trucks moving through their towns to the port. I know this is an easy comment for me on the mainland to make, but I know I would prefer the noise of trucks and clean air to the smell of smoke all day and night. – Rosemary Miller

Why does a government ask for expert advice and then totally ignore it, especially when the decision so adversely affects our world famous KI, its residents, their economy and wastes so much time effort and energy and resources.

We need to see some leadership from the rest of the governing party to stop one person’s opinion over-riding experts and damaging the reputation of SA.

Why would anyone now plant anything here if the whole venture is to be nullified by one person’s thoughts. – John Taylor

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