Joint Media Release - Conservationists slam Tasmanian Government's $450,000 forestry propaganda commitment

Joint Media Release Bob Brown Foundation & Save the Tarkine 26 May 2017

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Bob Brown Foundation and Save the Tarkine have condemned the Tasmanian Government's budget pledge to spend $450,000 over two years on propaganda promoting forestry. The conservation groups have criticised the $4 million total over four years to Tasmania’s logging industry as more taxpayers money after bad.

"What logical argument can there be for spending more taxpayer money on propaganda defending a native forest logging sector that already costs the Tasmanian taxpayer tens of millions of dollars every year in Forestry Tasmania losses", said Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan.

"After failed attempts at securing Forest Stewardship Council certification and years of losses, the taxpayer would be better served by ending the farce that is native forest logging in Tasmania".

“Tasmanian taxpayers have spent far too much valuable funds on the broken logging industry. Monies allocated in this budget to the loggers would be better spent on health, education and managing our globally significant forest reserves. Tasmanians who are fed up with funding the logging of magnificent native forests like the rainforests of the Tarkine are being asked to not only fund the ever growing losses, but to fund the government's propaganda campaign to try and make us feel better about it”, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

"This smells like a blatant attempt to provide ongoing subsidies to a broken industry, smokescreen appalling logging practices in Tasmania’s unique forests and give the Liberal Party a leg up in an election year,” Ms Weber said.

Mr Jordan and Ms Weber also questioned the announcements that the government will spend a further $300,000 to "undertake analysis of the socio-economic impacts in the Forest Practices System", and $1 million on "the strategic marketing of Tasmanian forestry products".

"The Forest Practices system should be about managing forests, and attempts to further weaken it will only damage attempts to achieve FSC certification", said Mr Jordan.

"What is needed in Tasmania is an immediate transition out of industrial scale logging of native forests.  It is not the job of government to find customers for a last century industry with a failed business model. If you can't sell it, don't cut it", said Ms Weber.

Further information: Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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