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Conservationists United, Call on Premier to Back Off HCV Forests

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 31 October 2016

Tags: Forests, Native Forest Logging, Environment, takayna / Tarkine, Tasmanian Forest Agreement, Wielangta, Climate Change

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

The conservation movement stands united to protect Tasmania's high conservation value forests and precious clean, green brand from the threats issued by the Hodgman Government.

Current and former State and National Greens' Leaders joined key leaders of the conservation movement today, united in our determination to stand for the forests.

We're just a fraction of the Tasmanians who stand ready to defend the forests, as always and yet again.

The Liberals have made it plain they want to escalate conflict over forests.  It's the last thing Tasmania needs right now and we're calling on the Liberal Government to back off.

On the chopping block, under the Liberals' desperate and cynical plan, are forests that were independently verified as of high conservation value in places like the Southern Forests, Wielangta, Tasman, North East Highlands, Blue Tier and Tarkine.  

These are some of the most beautiful, carbon rich forest ecosystems in the world.  Forests that were independently verified as of high conservation value and set aside for protection under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement.

The only people who support this push are the Liberals.  

Forestry Tasmania doesn't want to go in to these contentious forests and nor do the hard heads in the timber industry.  And, the average Tasmanian has had a gutful of paying for forest destruction and community unrest.

In an age of accelerating climate change and species' decline, Tasmania's iconic forests are worth more standing, as they always have been.

The Liberals' sorry and cynical excuse for a plan fails the triple bottom line test.  It threatens to divide us as a community, harm our environment and the climate - all at a huge cost to Tasmanians, as the subsidies will continue.

More and more Tasmanians see a different more peaceful future for this island, one that nurtures its wildness and prospers from its clean, green, cultured brand.  Logging the moratorium forests will damage that hard won brand and damage Tasmania's reputation as a visitor destination.

The Premier needs to step in.  A return to the days of intense conflict over forests is the last thing Tasmania needs right now.

His government has taken the wrong path.  Will Hodgman can set it straight if he chooses.  

The choice is his - a return to conflict and environmental destruction, or a genuinely brighter future.

If Premier Hodgman can't bring himself to make the right choice, tens of thousands of Tasmanians stand ready to defend the forests.