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356,000 ha of High Conservation Value Forests Under Threat from Liberals, from Today

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Tags: Forests, Extinction, Environment, Climate Change, Carbon Storage

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

As of today 356,000 hectares of high conservation value, carbon rich forests, set aside for protection under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, will come under threat from the logging industry.

These forests are some of the most beautiful, carbon rich ecosystems on the planet. They were independently evaluated as of high conservation value and worthy of protection.

In 2013, their protection was legislated by the Tasmanian Parliament. In 2014, the newly-elected Liberals stripped away that protection, classifying these beautiful forests as a ‘wood bank’ under moratorium from logging until today.

The hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest are spread all across Tasmania – from takayna to Bruny Island, from the Blue Tier to Dover.

We welcome Bunnings’ commitment they won’t source timber from the 356,000 ha carbon bank. There should be no place in the market for logs or wood products from independently assessed, high conservation value forests like these.

While companies like Bunnings have done the right thing and ruled out sourcing any timber from these forests, we know the mendicant faction of the native forest logging industry will have no scruples in tearing them down.

Heavily redacted Right to Information documents, obtained by the Greens late last year, make it clear the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (FIAT) has been in backroom discussions with the Liberal Government.

Their warming up of the Liberals to access part, or all, of the future reserves is there in black and white.

Conservationists know all too well that industry troglodytes won’t let a global pandemic get in the way of their plans. The native forest logging and burning has continued, and so will be the lobbying for access to these forests.

Today is a dark day for Tasmania's forests, as communities at every point of the compass on this island contemplate the destruction of their beautiful, biodiverse surrounds.

Most Tasmanians would be disgusted at the industry and the Liberals’ intentions for what they call their ‘wood bank’.

As long as they remain unprotected, these forests are not safe. From today, the Gutwein Government is on notice - the Tasmanian conservation movement will defend these forests with everything we have, as we always have.