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Delusional Resources Minister Backs in Forest Furnaces, not FSC

24 Aug 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

In Question Time today, Resources Minister, Guy Barnett, displayed extraordinary ignorance in describing the burning of native forests for energy as 'renewable'. 

At the same time, he refused to commit the Liberal Government to securing Forest Stewardship Certification for Forestry Tasmania.

It is clear Mr Barnett is way out of his depth. 

Yesterday, he claimed the Liberals policies are responsible for growth in the forestry sector, refusing to acknowledge the growth is in FSC certified plantation timber products.

Yet, the Liberals seem to be crab-walking away from FSC while working on a contradictory and poor excuse for a policy to ramp up native forest logging for burning.

The Liberals have embarked on a taxpayer-funded program to encourage the unsustainable and unscientific burning of native forests sourced from public and private land for energy.

Submissions close on Friday for the Liberals' Wood and Fibre Innovation Program, a $1.25 million pitch to revive a dying native forest logging industry.

In 2013, Private Forests Tasmania confirmed that primarily it would be native forests that fed any forest furnaces in Tasmania.

The available science tells us that biomass facilities are about 50% worse than coal per megawatt of energy generated and produce three to four times the emissions from natural gas.

In government at both levels, the Liberals are reckless climate vandals, prepared to deny the fact that deforestation and emissions from forest burning are harmful to biodiversity and future generations.

Mr Barnett and his colleagues should hang their heads in shame.