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Barnett’s Forestry Jobs Dishonesty

20 Nov 2017

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Forests spokesperson

In the wake of ABS census data confirming a massive decline in forestry sector employment under the Liberals, the Hodgman Government seems to be fudging the numbers.

The latest census shows there are 2,441 jobs in the forestry and wood product manufacturing sectors combined, a 32% decline since the Liberals came to power.

The FPA report proudly being cited by Guy Barnett claims there are 3,658 jobs in forestry alone, yet census data indicates only 1,024 jobs in Forestry. He offers no explanation as to where those extra 2,634 jobs came from and why they aren't reflected in the latest census.

The census surveyed 95.1% of the country and provides statistics that are as accurate as humanly possible. For Minister Barnett to dispute these figures with no explanation is plainly dishonest.

There is a pattern to this behaviour. When Forestry Tasmania failed to get FSC certification for sustainability, the Liberals’ solution was not to fix the problem, but to rename Forestry Tasmania as “Sustainable” Timbers Tasmania.  A sustainably focussed public timber business doesn't wilfully fell the habitat of endangered species like the Swift Parrot.

Now, Minister Guy Barnett thinks he can pretend systemic decline in native forestry employment isn’t happening by fudging the figures and hoping Tasmanians won’t notice.

It is time the Liberals stopped treating Tasmanians like mushrooms.