Media Release: Environmentalists call for amended Tasmanian Forest Legislation to be rejected.
Grass roots environmental groups, the Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild Still Threatened have called on all parties to reject the legislation before the House of Assembly when tabled tomorrow, 30th April.
Environmentalists Jenny Weber and Miranda Gibson stated, “Tasmania’s forests deal is unacceptable, it has been for a long time and now these amendments by the Legislative Councillors make it worse. This legislation will not provide adequate protection of Tasmania’s unique wild forests.”
Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber stated, “The results of the three year Tasmanian forests agreement process are fundamentally flawed and unacceptable.
“It failed to address crucial environmental and economic issues; including the need to change silvicultural practices and transition out of native forests; failure to restructure an irresponsible and damaging Forestry Tasmania; continued presence and new arrangements by some environmental groups to support human rights violators, the Sarawak timber company Ta Ann; the continued push to process ‘waste’ after logging in the form of wood-chips and bio-fuels to prop up an unviable and non-competitive saw-log industry; and a severely ill managed exit program. All the while there has been ongoing logging of proposed reserves, and loss of wilderness forests.” Jenny Weber said.
Still Wild Still Threatened’s Miranda Gibson stated, “The forest agreement has been mutated to the point of being the complete opposite of the original stated purpose of these negotiations, which was a transition out of native forest logging. If this legislation is passed it will prop up a dying native forest industry based on outdated practices that are both economically and environmentally detrimental to Tasmania”
“The amendments made by the Legislative Council nullify the majority of conservation outcomes from this agreement, by making further reserves dependent of the native forest industry receiving Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC). The current practices of industrial scale forestry, clear-felling and burning are not acceptable for any legitimate certification. This amendment therefore serves to either jeopardise the integrity of FSC or otherwise result in the majority of identified high conservation value forests never being reserved” said Ms Gibson.
“We call on all parties of the House Of Assembly to reject this bill tomorrow and instead enact real protection for Tasmania’s globally significant forests” concluded Ms Gibson and Ms Weber.