$50m killing in tree sales

$50m killing in tree sales

27 October 2008

published by www.news.com.au

Australia — A little-known business arm of the Victorian Government has made a $50 million profit from trees killed by bushfires.

Since the devastating alpine bushfires of 2006-07,VicForests has been salvaging alpine ash trees killed by the fire and systematically auctioning the partially processed logs.

VicForests is responsible for overseeing forest timber logging operations and the sale of the harvested timber.

Since the fires, 770,000cu m of salvaged timber has been sold for a total of $50 million.

Two Victorian sawmilling companies have paid $850,000 for the latest batch of salvaged trees to be put on the market.

The highest-grade logs sold for a record $197 per cubic metre and will be processed into timber for high-quality furniture and flooring.

Most of the logs salvaged after the fires were sold to mills last year.

The latest record-setting batch to sell had been kept constantly wet since being recovered to stop them splitting or warping.

VicForests explained that the extra cost of storing and watering the logs was covered by the almost $200-per-cubic-metre selling price.

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