The Greens have condemned the government's sanctioning of burning native forests for energy in their Direct Action program, with big business lining up to take advantage of taxpayer-funded handouts.
"Direct Action is a rort for big business, brought to you by Tony Abbott and Clive Palmer," said the Australian Greens spokesperson for Forests Senator Janet Rice.
"It will allow Tony Abbott's big business mates to cash in on destroying our native forests."
Since Direct Action passed the Senate in the dead of last night, companies have come out saying they have projects waiting to go. First in line is the burning of 'mill leftovers' for energy.
"The market for woodchips has collapsed, and Mr Abbott has responded by propping up his industry mates who had sent out the SOS signal from this dying industry," said Senator Rice.
"Ninety percent of the logs clearfelled from our forests end up as woodchips. These now appear destined to be classified as mill leftovers.
"Direct Action will allow trees from our native forests to be fed into forest furnaces for energy, which can then be claimed as 'renewable'.
"Forest furnace energy is far from renewable.
"This destruction of our native forests will be funded by taxpayers, will reduce our carbon stores and won't do anything to reduce our carbon emissions."