Media Release: Stop sabotaging Forestry Tasmania and our wild forests – Cut the sawlog quota

Markets for Change today urged the Tasmanian Forests Minister to stop sabotaging Forestry Tasmania and to instead take their advice to cut the sawlog quota from native forests to put the government business on a sustainable footing, as it was revealed that the company is still not operating profitably and cannot do so under the current business model.

“The future of the forest industry is in making a transition to utilising existing plantations away from logging native forests, as has been done in the private forests sector where a rejuvenation of the industry in Tasmania is occurring”, CEO Peg Putt said.

“It’s obvious that the future of Forestry Tasmania is as a smaller, boutique operation if it is to be economically and environmentally sustainable, something that the company itself is recommending with advice to cut the sawlog quota. We urge the Minister and the Hodgman government to stop sabotaging this government business and instead act on their advice to downsize native forest logging.”

“It is preposterous that the Tasmanian government plans to instead open high conservation value natural forests to the chainsaws, setting up a fight that will rebound internationally on the state by reinforcing the reputation of Tasmania for retrograde practices unacceptable to modern markets and cementing it as a high risk location for investment in native forest logging.”

“The notion that such an aggressively anti-environmental approach, which also will prove costly to implement, can somehow produce a growth trajectory in native forests is quite frankly delusional.”

“I have just returned from discussions with investors in Europe who are appalled at the notion that there would be any expectation to finance the logging of natural forests or forest furnaces using native forest feedstock to produce electricity.”

“As for tricky sleight of hand to continue to try and get FSC certification by firewalling Forestry Tasmania from this planned new forest outrage, it appears there will be a duplicitous attempt to try to greenwash a part of their activities in acknowledgement of modern expectations whilst also going berserk in designated high conservation value forests. This won’t do our reputation any good,” Ms Putt concluded.

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