Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Forests spokesperson
The Liberals came to government promising to ‘end the subsidies’ to the native forest logging industry but they are prepared to massively subsidise Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) move from Victoria.
Tasmanian taxpayers are being expected to subsidise a private company that has been responsible for devastating the giant eucalypt forests of Victoria to the point where there’s little left and the quota has been cut.
The result has seen ASH make threats to the Andrews’ Government to leave, a $20 million offer of public subsidy which has been rejected, then approaches to the Tasmanian Liberal Government which is tripping over itself to get taxpayers to fund the move.
We are concerned the Hodgman Liberals are being sucked into a taxpayer funded bidding war. The Premier refused to tell journalists today what limit there might be on a subsidy to lure ASH to the State.
Every dollar that goes to the forest sector is a dollar that isn’t going in to health, education and housing.
This year’s State Budget also shows an extra $8 million a year annual subsidy increase to Forestry Tasmania.
When the Liberals told Tasmanians they were ending the subsidies, they were lying.