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Minister Barnett Remains Delusional on Forests

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 17 October 2016

Tags: Forests, Environment, Native Forest Logging

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

The Resources Minister is at it again.  He is seeking to mislead Tasmanians and whip up community conflict over forests.

Mr Barnett is trying to claim credit for the Liberal government for the growth in plantation product exports from the private sector.

The market, which Mr Barnett selectively refers to, has overwhelmingly rejected timber products from forests of high conservation value.  That is a core reason the Tasmanian industry has shed thousands of jobs over the past decade.

At the same time, the Minister is repeating his unsubstantiated, unjustified claim that it may be necessary to log the 400 000 hectares of high conservation value, carbon-rich forests that were set aside to be reserved by the Labor Green government.

These remarkable, globally significant moratorium forests should be in reserves. 

That is the right outcome for the Tasmanian community, which has had enough of forest conflict. 

It's the right outcome economically, as the felling of high conservation value forests is unviable without public subsidy. 

And it's the right outcome for the environment and climate.  If Mr Barnett doubts that, he should talk to one of the remaining climate experts at IMAS, UTAS, CSIRO or the Australian Antarctic Division.

Tasmania's old forests are a massive carbon store which, in an age of accelerating climate change, any decent government would protect.