Media Release: Jan 13th 2012

Tree-sitter vows to remain in tree as government locks in logging of high conservation value forests.

Today’s announcement of a so-called “conservation agreement” by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments that leaves out key areas of high conservation value forest, allowing continued destruction rather than offering protection for these areas. Conservationist Miranda Gibson, who has been sitting in a tree for over four weeks, vows to remain in her tree top perch until the area is protected.

“This forest that I’m sitting in was promised immediate protection as part of the 430,000 hectares ear-marked for future reserves. The Gillard Government today is breaching the agreement that was signed in August in order to lock out the Observer Tree forest and other high conservation value areas from the so-called conservation agreement” said Ms Gibson.

“I have been sitting in this tree for over four weeks, waiting for Julia Gillard to take action to protect this area as she promised. Time is running out with logging due to begin again on Monday. Today’s announcement has seen the Australian Government back flip on the original promise, as this ‘conservation’ agreement confirms that logging will be allowed to continue in this world-class forest” said Ms Gibson.

“This agreement has only strengthened my resolve. I am absolutely committed to remaining at the top of this tree until the forest receives a real conservation outcome and Tasmania’s globally recognised forests receive the long overdue protection that they deserve” said Ms Gibson

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Posted on January 13, 2012, in Media Releases. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Miranda,
    can I just pop the following into the comments? It’s getting dark now, and there is very little breeze in Lonnie. Tomorrow I’ll be in Liffey, on the mountain slopes. I’d love to see Mount Mueller. What sort of tea (dinner) are you having? Me, well I’ve got to send off this comment and walk down to the supermarket. I’m hanging out for some cooked vegies – greens (plus some fish maybe) I s’pose you eat before it gets dark – I would have too if I hadn’t been on the computer, studying the so called Conservation Agreement. Here is what I found:
    ________________________________________________________________________
    ‘Lying with their eyes while their hands are busy working overtime’ (Lennon-McCartney)

    Tony Burke’s press release (http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/burke/2011/mr20120113.html) contains the spurious statement:

    “In accordance with the requirements of the Intergovernmental Agreement, which commits to honouring all existing wood supply contracts, these coupes have been excluded from the Conservation Agreement. “

    It must be said that the IGA never committed to honouring all existing wood supply contracts by allowing logging to continue in the interim in the 430k ha. Yet the two governments are hell-bent on allowing it. I have to make the observation that this shredding of the environmental essence of the IGA is taking place while our Premier is missing in action. However, our Deputy Premier is quite cheerfully filling in. He also has stepped in in his role the Minister for Energy, Resources and anything else that they want to log, mine or sell off. Bloody great place, Australia, eh? Here you have questions relating to biodiversity protection agreements not being signed by our State Environment Minister and being signed off in Canberra by a bloke called Burke who would would not call himself an environmentalist, although he is the Minister. Enough of the diatribe.

    THE DETAIL:
    The IGA (Clauses 26 and 27) required that contracts in the first instance be honoured by rescheduling logging to outside the 572k ha, and if that were not possible, to outside the 430k ha, and if that were not possible … compensation is to be paid. It certainly didn’t allow interim logging within the 430k ha. In no way shape of form.

    The links to the three reports are on this fed govt webpage: http://www.environment.gov.au/land/forests/independent-schedulers.html

    These reports fail to mention the requirement in Clauses 26 and 27 for financial compensation where rescheduling-relocation of logging is not practical.

    The Independent Schedulers/Reporters were not asked to assess what compensation should be paid under the TFIA (aka as the IGA) and the terms of reference for the independent schedulers reports did not include reference to the compensation matters in Clause 26-27.

    They have now reported that the contracted work cannot be met without continuing logging within the 430k ha, therefore it is now incumbent on the two governments to work out the compensation required to honour these contracts. Instead the governments have released the final report in the same breath as announcing this Interim Conservation Agreement. They correctly point out that the TFIA was not legally binding, but declare that this one is – and indeed it may well be, because provision for such an agreement exists through Section 305 of the EPBC.

    The third term of Reference according to the Independent Schedulers was contained in the “Tasmanian Forest Agreement Verification: Advice to Prime Minister and Premier of Tasmania Interim Reserve Boundaries”:
    “3 Advise the Prime Minister and Premier by close of business Friday 5 August whether the proposed 430,000 hectare reserve is prime facie inconsistent with commitments contained in the Heads of Agreement.”

    This allowed the Independent Schedulers to consider the issue of compensation, given that one of the commitments contained in the Heads of Agreement (Clauses 26-27) was the commitment to financially compensate where logging within the 430k ha could not be rescheduled. The Independent Schedulers failed to grasp the nettle. And the two governments have concocted an Interim Conservation Agreement which hides this fact.

    It makes you proud to be Australian, doesn’t it? A pox on their Houses! – Garry.

  2. Your resolve resonates across a broad global community respecting these vital heritage forests.

  3. I am incensed at this news! How dare they reneg on this agreement. Thank you Miranda for not complying with this total charade. We’re with you in spirit!!!!!

  4. Hey Miranda,

    Huge well wishes coming your way and thanks so much for being there – best, sean cogf

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