Conservation in trouble as Labor fails to advocate for forest protection in the face of Liberal legislation to open 1.3 million hectares for logging.
Labor grandstanding in Parliament by releasing their new policy position on forestry was worse than a non-event for conservation, with the new Labor Leader comprehensively failing to mention the environment and never expressing concern that 840,000 hectares of existing reserves across Tasmania will be opened to logging in addition to the abandonment of 400,000 ha of promised new reserves, and the potential opening of another 74,000 ha of World Heritage forests if they are de-listed.
“The real concern is that 1.3 million hectares of Tasmanian forests that are currently off limits will be opened up to logging, including all the proposed reserves, another 840,000 hectares in longstanding reserves now to become available for logging, as well as World Heritage forests currently the subject of a delisting application,” said Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager, Jenny Weber.
“This new legislation is an absolute shocker that embodies a new assault on magnificent forests that goes far beyond the abandonment of promised protections under the defunct TFA, yet Bryan Green was mute on this issue and never once even spoke up in defence of World Heritage forests,” said Peg Putt, CEO of Markets For Change.
“Labor wants the Hodgman government to assure them that they will continue to bankroll woodchip transport and processing from the public purse to continue woodchip exports, which is an insult to all those who need every possible dollar to go into health and education,” she said.
“The Forest Practices Code is acknowledged by scientists to be deficient and in urgent need of a biodiversity upgrade, yet Bryan Green never mentioned the massive disincentive to best practice logging when this legislation imposes big compensation payouts if Forest Practices are improved, despite claiming that FSC certification is needed for marketing purposes,” said Peter McGlone, Director of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust.
Peg Putt, Markets For Change
Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation – 0427 366 929
Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust – 0406 380 545