Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader and Forests spokesperson
Forestry Minister, Guy Barnett’s claim that thousands of jobs would be lost under the Greens’ policy to end native forest logging is, unsurprisingly, completely untrue.
Protecting forests is a jobs generator and indeed, ABS data shows the industry shed 1100 jobs in the last term of the Parliament, on Mr Barnett’s divisive watch.
The world has moved on from destructive native forest logging products, but Mr Barnett remains stuck in the last century.
The future of forestry is in managing Tasmania’s plantation estate - it’s the only part of the sector that is financially viable in a more socially and environmentally aware global market.
The ABS confirmed that in February this year, 2,200 Tasmanians were employed in forestry and associated industries. That’s down from 3,500 when the Liberals took office. If anyone has overseen a downturn in the forestry sector it is the Hodgman Government.
It is completely false for Guy Barnett to assert the Greens oppose plantation forestry. What we don’t support is the woodchip port in Dover, which the available data tells us is not viable unless it ships native forest timber.
We don’t support taxpayer money being tipped in to a destructive industrial logging industry that can’t stand on its own two feet, because it no longer has a place in a modern, more environmentally aware global market. All Mr Barnett would have to do to see his archaic mindset has failed is look around for the still missing Forest Stewardship Certification.
Nor do we support the Liberals’ ideological assault on our high conservation value forests, rainforests, and takayna/the Tarkine, or the exploitation of our protected areas for commercial gain. We make no apologies for standing up for wild Tasmania.