The changes will now permit invasive native species; the heads and offcuts of trees cut for sawlogs; and trees that might otherwise be made into pulp for paper production to be burned to generate electricity.
Mr Roberts said “The new regulation is in line with the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan to remove barriers to renewable energy production and has been has designed to ensure that there is no increase in the intensity of clearing or logging.”
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will now require all private electricity operators to keep a detailed record of the amount and the origin of biomass they receive and burn. The Forestry Corporation of NSW will publish this information on its website, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that environmental values are not compromised.
Minister for Western NSW Kevin Humphries said the changes will provide the opportunity for Western NSW to become a leader in the development of renewable energy.
“In addition to the significant environmental benefits these changes will bring, they will also help to support a viable biomass industry that will bring jobs and investment into Western NSW,” Mr Humphries said.