Today’s announcement of 10,000 hectares of the Southern Forests of Tasmania getting a stay of execution, while 58,000 hectares more is targeted for logging, is one step forward and five steps back by the Gutwein government on the urgent road to saving Tasmania’s rare and endangered species from extinction, Bob Brown Foundation says.
“Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (SST) has already wrecked a far greater area of vital habitat for Swift Parrots than this small area earmarked to be saved but not protected as national park,” Bob Brown said.
“Other critical areas for the Swifties, especially the Wielangta Forest on the east coast, have been ignored and face the chop,” Brown said. (No map of ‘saved’ areas was released.)
“This agreement is way short of ending the logging and burning of native forests in Tasmania, rapidly eroding habitat which is critical for the survival of species like the Swift Parrot, Tasmanian Devil, Wedge-tailed Eagle and the world’s largest freshwater crayfish, Astacopsis gouldi. The most compelling reason for this loss to Tasmania is so a few investors can flog woodchips to China. It should stop. Our forests will be much more valuable for jobs as well as lifestyle if they are kept vertical in the forest rather than horizontal on a truck.”
“The federal government’s primary responsibility for protecting endangered species’ forest habitats in Tasmania has been met with unmitigated failure,” Brown said.