Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Forests spokesperson
The latest Forestry Tasmania - now fraudulently named Sustainable Timber Tasmania - Annual Report demonstrates the continued failure of the Liberals’ stated commitment to move the business onto a sustainable footing.
The Forestry business made a Net loss of $42 million, comparable to $44 million the previous year. $27 million more was spent on operations than their wood was sold for. That means a $27 million taxpayer subsidy in some form or another.
Despite making similar losses to the previous year, Forestry Tasmania paid $15 million less to Tasmanian businesses. Forestry Tasmania also employs 35 fewer staff.
The reforms and cynical rebranding have resulted in similar financial losses for the entity, with fewer Tasmanians employed and fewer Tasmanian businesses being paid.
Nothing about the Liberals’ four years of administration of the forestry portfolio has resulted in any significant benefit for Tasmanians.
In contrast, the Private Forests Tasmania Annual Report makes it clear where the future of the forest sector lies. The annual report reinforces the fact that plantation timber is the future.
We welcome the continued commitment of private foresters to seek Forest Stewardship Council certification, a standard Forestry Tasmania (now Sustainable Timber Tasmania) has been unable to achieve.
Much of the private plantation forestry sector is on track towards a sustainable, conflict-free path. It is time for the old parties to take the private sector’s lead, rather than try to force controversial, destructive and climate harming native forest logging products on a sector that does not want it, and at public expense to boot.