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Forestry Tasmania Ministerial Charter

22 Sep 2015

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

The Ministerial Charter that Forestry Tasmania is expected to abide by makes it clear the GBE is being set up to fail, despite the Liberals' rhetoric.

Tabled in Parliament today by Minister Harriss, the Charter requires Forestry Tasmania to be ‘financially self-sustaining’.  The GBE has failed to operate without massive subsidies in the past and is highly unlikely to in the future.

The Charter also requires Forestry Tasmania to continue to ‘work towards the achievement of Forest Stewardship Certification’.  As long as Forestry Tasmania is logging native forest at an unsustainable level and impacting on threatened species like the Swift Parrot, it will struggle to achieve FSC.

Forestry Tasmania is expected to ‘support export of residue products, including logs and woodchips while market constraints that are limiting private sector investment remain’.  There is no viable market for native forest woodchips, the ‘market constraint’ is the global move towards plantation timber and Forest Stewardship Certification.

While the Government has directed Forestry Tasmania to sell its plantation assets, the market will be looking for sustainably grown and harvested products that FT will longer have to offer.  The Charter further enables Forestry Tasmania to go deeper in to debt to meet its costs.

The Charter makes it clear that Forestry Tasmania is expected to ‘implement the reforms arising from the review of Forestry Tasmania’. 

Unfortunately, Tasmanians have almost no idea what this means as the review document has never been made publicly available by a government that fails to walk the talk on its transparency rhetoric.