RFA Review Response Locks in Native Forest Destruction
The Tasmanian and Commonwealth governments’ response to the Review of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is a clear indication of the Abbott-Turnbull government's wilful blindness to the ongoing destruction of our native forests, say the Australian Greens.
“To put the response to the Tasmanian Regional Forest Review out at 8pm a couple of days before the Federal election is called is a clear indication of what they have to hide,” said Australian Greens Forests spokesperson Senator Janet Rice.
“This weasel-worded response completely ignores the fact that native forest logging is an industry stuck in the 19th and 20th Centuries at the behest of vested interests.”
“The response does nothing to bring the industry into this century by completing the transition to the economically sensible path of 100% plantation-based wood products.”
“Our native forests are worth much more for new economy industries like tourism, for the iconic birds and animals that rely on them, and for the clean air and water they produce. And when we need to be taking urgent action to reduce the effects of global warming, native forests are a vital tool to store carbon.”
“The government's willingness to roll over these destructive management practices until the late 2030s is an appalling direction, not just for Tasmania, but for native forests across Australia.”
“As we hurtle towards a federal election, the Greens call upon all parties to pledge not to simply roll over this outdated destructive mismanagement of our forests,” concluded Senator Rice.
Greens Senator for Tasmania Nick McKim said review is all about resource security for logging companies and locks in a business as usual approach that is a proven public policy failure.
"This is a delusional and dangerous response which ignores global warming, threatened species like the Swift Parrot, and the need to protect high conservation value forests," said Senator McKim.
"It's yet another rendition of a tired old business-as-usual mantra. It ignores the value of carbon and biodiversity in Tasmania's native forests, and locks in ongoing public subsidies that should be used to restore funding to schools and hospitals that has been slashed by Liberal governments in Tasmania and Canberra."
"The rent-seeking logging companies will be overjoyed, but once again it is our precious forests and the creatures and carbon in them that are the big losers."
"The response is full of weasel words and evasion on environmental outcomes, and blindly and culpably enthusiastic about propping up a native forest industry that cannot survive without taxpayer handouts."
"The Liberals have also belled the cat on their plan to burn native forest for electricity and heat, which is simply irresponsible in today's carbon constrained world."
"The Swift Parrot is sliding towards extinction but all we're getting from the Liberals is more of the same," concluded Senator McKim.
Contact: Nick McKim | Debra Rees 0427 334 858
Janet Rice | Sam Drummond 0400 352 935