Bob Brown Foundation has renewed calls for an end to native forest logging and abolition of Forestry Tasmania.
“Forestry Tasmania’s latest annual report has shown an alarming increase in native forest woodchipping, shocking ongoing rainforest logging and continuing greenhouse gas emissions from incinerating thousands of hectares and unsurprisingly another fudging of the figures to hide a taxpayer loss. Native forest logging needs to cease, the agency needs to abolished and their people moved into a department that protects native forests for carbon storage, restoration and ceases being a drain on the taxpayer,” said Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber
“Logging Minister Guy Barnett must be honest with the people of Tasmania in relation to the real financial state of Forestry Tasmania after our analysis shows that the Government Business Enterprise’ reported $3.9m profit turns out to be a $17m loss. The volume of native forests woodchips rose 20%, while total sales of native forest product fell by $51million,” Bob Brown Foundation takayna/Tarkine campaigner Scott Jordan.
“Only Minister Barnett could funnel $14.5million in, get $3.9million back and call it a profit. This is a loss any day of the week and Tasmania’s hospitals, schools, and services are the worse for it”, said Scott Jordan.
“Native forest logging in Tasmania, including logging of rainforests and carbon rich tall eucalypt forests, only exists because the Tasmanian Government is underwriting massive ongoing losses through grants to its own business. Accumulated losses on Forestry Tasmania’s books sit at $207million, with unfunded superannuation liabilities running at $35million”, Scott Jordan said.
“At a time of climate crisis when we need to be drawing down emissions in this critical decade, again the Tasmanian Government logging agency has executed almost 5000ha of post logging incineration burns sending greenhouse gas emissions directly into the atmosphere. Forestry Tasmania has 711,000 hectares of forest that need to be immediately placed in secure conservation reserves for their carbon stores and wildlife benefits”, Jenny Weber said.
“Native forest logging is a dying and damaging industry. Sales are down, volumes of sawlog and peeler logs are down, and community support has gone. It is long past time to reinvest taxpayer funds out of native forest logging grants and into jobs-rich forest restoration, and real protection of our ancient carbon stores” said Bob Brown Foundation takayna/Tarkine campaigner Scott Jordan.
Despite the government voting down moves by the Greens to remove the flawed minimum sawlog quota on Wednesday, Forestry Tasmania’s Annual Report proves again that they failed to meet legislated minimum sawlog quota in 2020/2021 (by 15%), due to a lack of demand for controversial native forest product.