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Minister Barnett Needs a Big Rethink


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Sunday, 3 May 2020

Tags: Forests, Climate Adaptation, Climate Emergency, Coronavirus, Native Forest Logging, Landscape Restoration

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Forests spokesperson

Resources Minister, Guy Barnett, needs to take a broader view of Tasmania’s forestry sector and its potential role in this island’s recovery from coronavirus.

While the coronavirus pandemic has rightly been our recent focus, the climate crisis has not simply disappeared. Our recovery from COVID-19 should prioritise building a society that can flourish into the future, not accelerate us towards further upheaval.

Protecting native forests and restoring landscapes are critical components of climate action. The Greens encourage Mr Barnett to exercise his imagination about how skilled native forest workers can help to repair and rewild Tasmania, and protect us from future threats like bushfires.

As a Member for Lyons, Mr Barnett is well placed to bring together farmers, scientists, forest workers and conservationists to replant and restore the Midlands. It’s a landscape crying out for repair and reforesting.

This project would drive jobs, improve soil and water health, and bolster our carbon stores.

Rather than being such a vocal champion for the destruction of forest ecosystems, Mr Barnett could lead a conversation with industry about a new future.

With sudden and devastating clarity, the COVID pandemic has told us business-as-usual is over.