Media Release: Loggers collude with Tasmanian Government to destroy forests promised for reservation

Right to Information (RTI) documents have revealed that Tasmania’s logging agency has been cooking up plans with the Government to log forests with independently verified high conservation values. A plan that is laid out on misleading figures and is a dangerous move at this time of a global species extinction crisis and climate emergency.

“Revelations that a dodgy plan is proposed to trash one conservation value in Tasmania’s unique forests while saving another one raises alarm bells with conservationists that the wrong people are determining the fate of forests and wildlife. This is not on. Loggers have mooted a plan for Swift parrot habitat on Bruny Island currently in the permanent logging zone be exchanged for forest elsewhere on mainland Tasmania for logging. This is not a strategy to save the Swift Parrot. All breeding and foraging habitat for the Swift Parrot needs urgent protection from logging and protecting the Bruny Island forests will not be enough,” Jenny Weber said.

“Tasmania’s government has already severely failed the critically endangered Swift Parrot, a species that needs all its habitat in secure conservation reserves,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine has also been targeted by the logging industry in their latest collusion with the government. This RTI reveals that as a ‘matter of urgency, the loggers want to ensure they can log the Tarkine forever.’ Protecting the native forests and rainforests, habitat for rare and endangered species such as the Tasmanian Devil, Masked Owl, and giant freshwater crayfish, is a matter of urgency not destroying them,” Jenny Weber said.

"Although FIAT claim that there is a looming shortfall in sawlog supply this is clearly a try on, and is not supported by the facts revealed in official documents,” said Peg Putt, former Leader of the Tasmanian Greens, former CEO Markets For Change, current Co-ordinator of the Forests, Climate and Biomass Working Group of the Environmental Paper Network (international).

"The two vital points are first that actual supply of sawlog has been running below the legislated minimum for the past few years* and no-one has been complaining of a shortfall, so the issue seems confected by FIAT,” Ms Putt said.

"Secondly, the sustainable yield tables of Sustainable Timbers Tasmania** show a continued high-quality sawlog supply as the available resource shifts from native forest to plantation timber. Yet FIAT claims that there is a supply gap, obviously hoping that the Minister will not read the report they referred to, which clearly shows their claim to be wrong,” Ms Putt said

"The upcoming drop-in native forest logs have long been known and result from previous overcutting of the forests, yet the long-awaited transition to a non-controversial plantation supply is finally coming,” Ms Putt said.

"The industry agreed to this plantation transition on numerous occasions over past years, but now they want to trash precious forests they earlier acknowledged should become reserves instead of getting into the modern age of plantation grown timber,' Ms Putt said.

* Annual Reports - Sustainable Timber Tasmania **Sustainable high-quality eucalypt sawlog supply from Tasmania's Permanent /timber Production Zone Land STT, 2017

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