The announcement today to renew the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) in Tasmania for another 20 years demonstrates just how short-sighted and irresponsible state and federal governments around the country are, say the Australian Greens.
“Regional Forest Agreements must be scrapped,” said Senator Janet Rice, Greens spokesperson for forests. “I have given notice in the Senate this week of my intention to introduce legislation to repeal the RFA legislation.”
“These outdated logging laws are destroying our precious native forests and preventing us from moving our wood products industries to sustainably managed plantations.”
“Logging under these commonwealth-state agreements is exempt from our national environment laws, which means threatened forest animals and plants like the swift parrot, Tasmanian devil and giant freshwater crayfish are headed for extinction on our watch.
“How will the PM tell his grandchildren that he sat by while these precious species disappeared from Australia?”
“It’s outrageous that we are destroying some of the highest conservation value forests in the world when we have other options. We need to protect our native forests and complete the shift to a sustainable plantation-based timber industry to ensure that forests are protected, timber workers will have jobs well into the future and we can meet our timber needs,” said Senator Rice.
“But for this to happen, the government needs to face up to the fact that these logging laws aren’t protecting our forests, nor are they protecting the future of timber workers, who are being deprived of secure jobs in a sustainable timber industry.”
Senator Nick McKim, Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania, said that “the RFA locks in the ongoing strip mining of Tasmania’s native forests for decades.”
“This will destroy the habitats of threatened species and emit massive amounts of carbon.”
“It is hypocritical for Will Hodgman to try to claim these reserves will protect Tasmania’s forests when he is trying to legislate to strip mine forests within those same reserves.”