(Photos: HQPlantations Pty Ltd; http://www.hqplantations.com.au/history.html)
Swain had a powerful persona and was never shy about broadcasting his views on forestry even when they clashed with the views of his employers and developers. This conflict led to a Royal Commission into forestry in 1931, where Swain read his views on forest protection over a couple of days. The Commission did not like his approach, his tone or his message - in fact he was accused of making false statements under oath and some members of the Commission called for him to be jailed. A private review by the Auditor General found that Swain's statements were factually accurate, but the Royal Commission did not publish that result. This led to his employment being terminated in 1932.
Swain operated as a consultant for a few years until employed by the NSW government as their commissioner for forestry in 1935. Here he was to manage the state's timber resources through a depression and then WWII. He established a wood products investigation to manage forests to the mutual benefit of foresters, sawmillers and timber merchants. He had oversight of timber production and supply during the war when timber was not able to be imported due to shipping blockades.
He continued to publish widely, but was frequently in disagreement with academics and the government. As a result he retired in 1948, although he later had a stint with the United Nations as a forestry adviser to Ethiopia.
Edward Swain returned to his Chelmer home late in his life and passed away there in 1970, some say while tending his garden. He had planted an arboretum around his property that contained a variety of species and many of the mature trees can be seen in the following photographs of the house.
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