Final Report on the assessment of the Levels and Suitability of Current Indigenous Peat Stocks and Identification of Sub-Thirty Hectare Sites and other recommendations to support domestic horticulture industry as it transitions to peat alternatives

Due to the complex challenges surrounding the peat industry, such as ownership, turbary rights, peat quality, etc., no suitable sub 30-hectare peat sites were located.

The addition of the current climate, which has nurtured untrusting stances by all parties, meant that there was a lack of engagement by peat extraction and domestic horticulture industry stakeholders and therefore it was not possible to obtain figures on the number of current actively harvested peat sites, the quantity of stockpiled materials, and material suitability or site locations.

The industry has not been forthcoming in supplying information relating to the volume of peat currently stockpiled and the location of these stockpiles. The industry has also withheld information on the provenance of peat currently being supplied to stakeholders, the number and scale of peat sites they own, the level of degradation on sites, and any other information requested.

Regarding the professional grade peat bogs, BnM did disclose that one was rehabilitated in 2021, two are in the progress of being rehabilitated in 2022, two are approved for rehabilitation in 2023 and four others are being retained for an alternative use. No information was given regarding the size and location of these sites and no additional information was provided on what “alternative use” meant for the four sites.

Question: how is the Rochfortbridge operation exempt from EPA licence as it’s above 50Ha and is extracting and stockpiling peat as a part of the quarrying process?

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