Media Release: Conservationists call on government to take responsibility for forests.
Reports in the media today that signatories to the forest negotiations are continuing informal talks has raised questions about the future of the process. Still Wild Still Threatened are calling for transparency in the process and asking the government to now take responsibility for forest protection.
“The prospect that secret informal talks are continuing whilst the signatories have publicly announced that the deal is dead, is bringing concern and confusion. The Tasmanian public deserve transparency in this process. We are calling for an honest public statement to be made from signatories involved in formal or informal talks, regarding the progress of the agreement” said Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson, Miranda Gibson.
“The collapse of the talks over the weekend is an indication that some issues were unable to be resolved through such a process. To attempt to salvage a deal at all costs is not the answer if it fails to solve the underlying problems. Finding an end to the so-called conflict should not be prioritised over finding peace for the forests that continue to face the onslaught of destruction” said Ms Gibson
“Still Wild Still Threatened are calling on the government to take action to ensure that, regardless of negotiations ceasing or continuing, there is no watering down of the conservation recommendations made by the verification report” said Ms Gibson.
“Tony Burke’s comments that the government would not deliver conservation outcomes without a negotiated outcome is a negation of his responsibly as Federal Environment Minister to address issues of forest protection for the sake biodiversity, endangered species, climate and water” said Ms Gibson.
“The Federal government must act on scientific advice produced through the verification, and that is a recommendation for the protection of 563,000 hectares of forest. The protection of scientifically verified forests should not be subject to the whim of forestry industry representatives in the negotiation process” said Ms Gibson.