Existing reserves of 840,000 hectares across Tasmania opened to logging, and new reserves protection for 400,000 hectares ‘HCV’ forests abandoned, in Liberals' legislative assault on forests
Forestry legislation to be debated by Tasmania’s Parliament tomorrow comprises a near complete reversal of all promised conservation gains under the abandoned Tasmanian Forest Agreement, plus opens to logging entire categories of existing reserves across the state, and imposes massive financial disincentives to applying the long awaited biodiversity upgrade to the Forest Practices Code, said Markets For Change, the Bob Brown Foundation, and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust.
“Our analysis shows that this new assault on protection of Tasmanian forests and maintenance of important conservation values in forests that are logged is brutal. Provisions to open for logging all existing reserves across the state that are designated Conservation Areas and Regional Reserves have flown under the radar,” said Markets For Change CEO Peg Putt.
“This creates an entirely new logging zone of 337 Conservation Areas covering 585,818 hectares and 25 Regional Reserves comprising 253,650 hectares, in addition to the 400,000 hectares that become proposed production forest instead of reserves,” Ms Putt explained.
“A transition out of native forest logging into using the existing plantations has been completely abandoned,” Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager of the Bob Brown Foundation added.
“Instead it is not only World Heritage forests that are in the government’s sights, but also another 400,000 hectares that were designated for future reserve protection will go into a wood production category to come on line to keep the native forest destruction bandwagon going in six years’ time when the currently available native forests are exhausted.”
“In the meanwhile those precious forests are immediately available for logging assaults for specialty timbers,” Ms Weber said.
“A built in disincentive to the long awaited upgrade of biodiversity provisions in the Forest Practices Code that governs logging operations is in the form of a provision that industry must be compensated if they are required to meet higher environmental standards when they log,” said Director of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Peter McGlone.
“Threatened species provisions are far behind current best practice, scientists agreed years ago on the improved measures that were then stalled by the previous government, and now the new government is trying to put them completely out of reach.”
“Wildlife across Tasmania will not have adequate logging prescriptions unless someone pays the industry buckets of money just to do the right thing,” Mr McGlone concluded.
- Peg Putt, Markets For Change
- Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation – 0427 366 929
- Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust – 0406 380 545