In an extraordinary display of how out of touch the Tasmanian government is with modern expectations around the production of timber products for international markets, today’s Ministerial statement outlining plans to log high conservation value forests previously designated by law for future protection fails to acknowledge the reputational damage and the investment risk that will inevitably flow from this decision, according to Markets For Change.
“It is an outrage that acknowledged high conservation value forests around Tasmania are to be put on the chopping block. The Tasmanian government is so deluded that they haven’t even addressed the risk they will bring to the entire industry by this confrontational approach that will drive international awareness of the unfolding environmental travesty,” said Markets For Change CEO, Peg Putt.
“With wood supply agreements that simply cannot be met without destroying important natural values like endangered species habitat, government plans to get out of this predicament fly in the face of Forestry Tasmania’s advice to cut back on volumes and instead propose the incredible, incendiary option of open slather logging of high conservation value forests that have been off limits for some years.”
“The fig leaf to cover this retrograde behaviour is a laughable name change to Sustainable Timber Tasmania and a requirement for companies logging these places to have merely applied for any old form of forestry certification.”
“It gets worse in relation to Special Species timbers, which are the precious long-lived rainforest trees. Unbelievably Tasmania now intends to waive informal reserves in logging zones which exist to protect these valuable trees themselves, stream sides, steep hillsides, tall trees, and zones around eagles’ nests, instead allowing such places to be logged.”
“We will continue to liase with the markets for Tasmanian product about the implications for the environmental attributes of wood products flowing from the new direction. We will expose any effort to greenwash the announced new assault on these outstanding forests that are loved far beyond the shores of Tasmania,” Ms Putt concluded.