Parliament votes down wood-fired power

MP Rob Oakeshott moved a motion in federal parliament to define burning native forests for energy as renewable energy.

In response to timber industry lobbying, independent MP Rob Oakeshott moved a motion in federal parliament to allow foresters to claim Renewable Energy Certificates for burning native forests for power.

The vote was lost on March 19 on a casting vote from the Speaker of the House Peter Slipper. The Labor Party, Greens, and independent MPs Andrew Wilkie and Tony Windsor voted against the motion. The Coalition voted for it.

Huon Valley Environment Centre biomass campaigner Will Mooney said on March 19: “Communities across Australia will be relieved that plans for polluting native forest-fuelled power stations will not be eligible to draw on incentives meant to encourage truly renewable energy options.

“Huon Valley residents can be assured that a decade-old plan for a 30MW power station near Lonnavale, that would consume over 300,000 tonnes of timber per annum, looks even less certain to proceed.”

The centre's spokesperson, Jenny Weber, said: “Today’s vote backs up the concerns of conservation organisations, health advocates, scientists and community groups who have voiced a range of concerns about logging industry plans to prop up native forest logging with large scale wood-fired power stations.”

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