Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Forests spokesperson
The Liberals’ restructure of Forestry Tasmania has simply forced the GBE to sell its only potential profit making assets - the plantations - and moved the subsidies around to conceal the true extent of ongoing public funding for this industry.
The Liberals haven’t 'ended the subsidies'. They've increased funding to FT by $8 million per annum according to the Budget papers, and internalized and hidden the true costs of production, with tens of millions in subsidies locked in to existing forestry contracts over the next decade.
In Tasmania's industrial native forest logging industry, there's a public dollar or a million of them, behind every aspect of the operation, from growing, harvesting, transporting and processing to exports.
Minister Barnett’s celebration today is as laughable as is his Orwellian rebrand and rename of Forestry Tasmania to Sustainable Timber Tasmania. The spin doctors in the Liberal offices must have been really pleased when they came up with that one.
Mr Barnett’s announcement Forestry Tasmania’s plantations may have a buyer, reaffirms his commitment to privatise the only profitable part of the mendicant GBE. The Liberals’ are selling the one FT asset that could make it a profit in the future.
This is nothing more than sneaky accounting to gloss over the Liberals' failure on forestry in the lead up to a State election.
They have no credibility on forestry and under the Liberals there will be no 'sustainable' forestry policy.
The Liberals don't understand the meaning of the word 'sustainable', evidenced by the fact their draft rainforest logging plan projects logging special species to the level of zero resource available.
With Forest Stewardship Certification looking more and more like a distant dream, the best the Liberals' apparently have to offer is the same old spin from Guy Barnett, and actions that are designed to whip up conflict over high conservation value forests.
We recognise Tasmania deserves better and we believe Tasmanians want a better deal on forests than the slim and bitter pickings the Liberals have on offer.