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Climate Action, Logging of Forests

26 September 2019
Rosalie Woodruff MP

 

Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

It is clear your Government has failed to secure FSC because of its unsustainable logging practices and commitment to log 356 000 hectares of native forests. On Tuesday you praised our Prime Minister for his climate leadership on the international stage, despite him boycotting the UN Climate Summit to cosy up with Donald Trump, the world's worst climate denying criminal. Yesterday, you falsely claimed Tasmania was the global climate leader even though you, the Premier, did not march and support our children's future at last week's global climate strike.

Other countries are desperately planting as many trees as possible to draw down carbon, but you see 356 000 hectares of carbon-trapping, high value, native forests as a wood bank for plundering. Do you agree a global climate leader would not log and burn native carbon-rich forests?

Mr Barnett - Wood is good.

Mr O'Byrne - I think you probably should stop saying that. Do not say it.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, Mr O'Byrne, stop waffling.

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the questions. They go to a range of issues, which I have addressed, and more than happy to do so again today to confirm the fact that Tasmania is a leader in -

Ms O'Connor - Failed to get FSC again.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, Ms O'Connor, warning number one.

Mr HODGMAN - climate change action. That is irrefutable. It is true to say that Tasmania has not only a strong claim to make in this regard, but also a strong track record of delivering under a Liberal government.

The first jurisdiction in the country to be zero net emissions. Our self-sufficiency in renewable energy by 2022, 100 per cent, through the investments that we are making. The actions under our Climate Action 21 Plan, a number of which go to supporting Tasmanian businesses, government and non-government sector to invest in technologies and initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint.

Dr Woodruff - Do we have FSC or not?

Mr HODGMAN - I am addressing one part of your questions. To ensure that we continue our efforts to be a climate change leader under this action plan we have been able to deliver the lowest per capita emissions out of all Australian states and territories. We are leading the country in this regard.

Dr Woodruff - You are not a leader. You are following the coal industry.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, Dr Woodruff, warning one.

Mr HODGMAN - Emissions per person have decreased. A reduction of 96 per cent as I said yesterday in this place between 1990 and 2017.

Mr Ferguson interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, Mr Ferguson, warning number one.

Mr HODGMAN - One of the lowest net emitters of carbon dioxide on the planet and a lot is being done through our Action Plan, rolling out electric vehicle charging stations, assistance to small and medium businesses to help them reduce their operating costs through resource efficiency initiatives, energy audits to support businesses to improve their energy efficiency -

Dr Woodruff - Meet the children and tell them why you are chopping down the trees.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, Dr Woodruff, warning two.

Mr HODGMAN - targeted fuel reduction program, which this Government has completed and initiated to protect our communities also has environmental benefit, irrigation infrastructure, which has continued under this Government, investment in our renewable hydro assets. All of these things as well as having in our state some of the best climate change and climate scientists and researchers in the world. They are here assisting government to be leaders in climate change.

More does need to be done. I acknowledge and support the efforts of all those who came to the rally recently and who expressed their views on this matter, and understand how important it is to them. I hope they understand the things that we are doing to reduce our carbon footprint and to place Tasmania in the strong position that it is. It would be wonderful to see the Greens acknowledge these facts, but they cannot even do it in this place. How could we trust you with a group of children to tell them the truth?

With respect to our forest industry, the minister has spoken about the status of FSC and I spoke yesterday about what is proposed with the potential production forest land and what is required under legislation that passed this House. No amount of scaremongering and dishonesty again from the Greens in this regard will change those facts.

I will, again, affirm this Government's very strong support for our forest industry. It is one we should be proud of. They are very highly qualified managers of our land, but also at their heart they have a strong interest in our environmental credentials. It adds value to their product and to their industry, and thankfully, to an industry that now employs a lot more people than it did when you were in government, and when you were cutting people's jobs out of it.