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Liberals' Rainforest Logging Plan to Open Up Reserves

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 25 August 2017

Tags: Forests, Environment, Native Forest Logging

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Forests spokesperson

The rainforest logging plan put forward by the Liberals is a disgrace. Introducing logging into reserves and conservation areas is a destructive move, designed to generate conflict.

The plan to allow logging in Regional Reserves and Conservation Areas is as divisive as it is destructive and unjustifiable.  These places were set aside for protection, not for rainforest logging.

Earlier this year when debating the highly political and ultimately defeated, ‘unlocking production forests bill’, the Greens attempted to scrutinise and debate the values in each lot that the Bill proposed to open up to logging.

When listing the threatened species in each lot, we were met with laughter. This is indicative of the attitudes of the old parties, particularly the Liberals in government who apparently have so little to offer Tasmania, they have to resort to championing environmental destruction.

During the debate, Minister Ferguson described our concerns as “playing a silly game over lines on maps”, and the Liberals used their numbers to shut down the debate.  Parliament was not given the opportunity to hear the evidence on the extraordinary ecological values of the places the Liberals want to log.

The role of parliament is to scrutinise policy and legislation. To equate forests of global significance with trivial lines on maps, not even worthy of discussion, is indicative of the ignorance and arrogance of the Liberal Government.

The legislative council rightly voted down this legislation, which did not even have the support of the industry the Liberals are desperately trying to win over.

Appallingly, after their bid to deregister reserved forests failed, the Liberals are trying to introduce logging in regional reserves and conservation areas.

It is time the Liberals learned that Tasmania’s outstanding and globally significant forests are more than just lines on maps, they are ecological and carbon rich treasures.