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Gutwein Refuses to Protect Carbon Bank Forests

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Tags: Climate Change, Forests, Carbon Storage

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

In State Parliament today, the Premier and first Liberal Minister for Climate Change refused to rule out logging the 356 000 hectares of high conservation value, and critical carbon bank, forest set aside for protection in 2013.

According to the 2012 Tasmanian Forest Carbon Study, this island’s forests are expected to sequester 3-4 million tonnes of carbon each year for the next 30 years. They play a crucial role in the State’s climate emergency response.

As the Premier of Tasmania and Minister for Climate Change, Mr Gutwein should be guided by the science, not base politics and division.

Premier Gutwein and his Ministers refer to these forests as a ‘wood bank’, and climate change as a ‘global challenge.’ Science tells us the 356,000 hectares of forests set aside for future protection are a vast carbon bank of global significance.

The Premier’s refusal to make a clear, unequivocal statement about permanently protecting these forests for their natural, cultural and carbon values points to a resistance to heeding the science.

If he wants to be taken seriously on climate, logging native forests has to end.