You are here

Liberals’ Derby Hypocrisy

31 Mar 2017

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Northern Tasmania spokesperson

The Greens are strong supporters of the World Enduro Series, and the thriving mountain bike industry in and around Derby, set up with grants from the now-torn up Tasmanian Forest Agreement.

The Liberals' statements about Derby are hypocritical.  They can't claim they will never log around the Derby while including the area in their divisive forestry legislation as 'production forest'.

The forestry bill puts many tourist assets on the Liberals' logging hit-list.  Derby is one, along with the North-East Rail Trail, the West Coast Wilderness Railway, and areas that surround tourist hot spots like Cradle Mountain, Ben Lomond, Bruny Island, the Tasman Peninsula and the Bay of Fires.

During debate on the forestry bill, the Liberals gagged the Greens' attempt to save specific lots from the chopping block.  If they don't plan on logging Derby, or Bruny Island, why include them in their forestry legislation?

The Liberals can't have their cake and eat it too. They can't promote wilderness adventure tourism, while planning to log the same wilderness.

Minister Barnett had every opportunity to quarantine the Derby forests from logging, like he did with the lots on the Three Capes track, but he did not.  

Lot 63 in the Liberals' divisive Forestry (Unlocking Production Forests) Bill 2017 contains the Atlas and Dam Busters mountain bike tracks.  If their plan goes ahead, it will destroy the forest experience many riders head to Derby from around the world to enjoy. 

In the last sitting of Parliament, mountain bikers gathered on the lawns to stand in opposition to the Liberals' forestry bill. Buffers or not, the sound and sight of the native forest being destroyed will have an impact on riders. 

Including the Derby lots in the forestry bill means there is always the threat of logging. This casts a shadow on the whole area, and its tourism jobs. 

If the Liberals were serious about Derby's success and rebirth, they would remove the lots from the bill, so it can remain a successful tourist destination.