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Gutwein Must Intervene in Tarkine Destruction

Media Release - Wednesday, 5 February 2020, Cassy O'Connor MP


Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Forests spokesperson

The logging industry’s destruction of ancient rainforest in the takayna/Tarkine region is the first major test for Tasmania’s new Premier and Climate Change Minister Peter Gutwein.

The Gondwanan rainforests of north west Tasmania are not only priceless for their conservation values, they are also vital carbon banks. If Premier Gutwein is really serious about climate change, he needs to intervene to stop this destructive, unnecessary logging and release of the carbon they store.

In a climate and biodiversity emergency, with massive tracts of forest burned on the mainland, there is no justification for native forest logging.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is oxygen clear in its assessment that deforestation must end if we’re to slow down global heating.

Claims from industry figures that forest destruction is actually good for the climate are a pathetic, self-interested and unscientific attempt to greenwash practices the industry’s own polling has shown no longer have a social license.

Industry spin says we need to use native forest timber instead of products like imported plastic. What they won’t admit is we have plenty of good quality plantations being cultivated in Tasmania which will more than meet our timber needs.

It is wholly unnecessary to destroy native forests for timber and woodchips when Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s own data shows we have a huge plantation estate becoming available.

The reason the old players in the industry’s mendicant faction want to log rainforests in the Tarkine is an ideological one. It’s what they’ve always done and what they want to keep doing, and successive governments have let them get away with it.

Premier Gutwein is faced with a choice between appeasing a destructive industry and listening to climate scientists and young people. If he’s serious about climate change, he needs to step in and protect Takayna’s unique, carbon-rich forests.