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Minister Squirms Over Forestry Broken Promises


Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tags: TasNetworks, Forestry Plantations

The attempts by Resources Minister Paul Harriss this morning on local radio to take credit for the investment by some private forestry businesses such as New Forests, or Forico, was extraordinary and borders on delusional, Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“Put bluntly, Paul Harriss and the Hodgman Liberals are exposed for their blatant broken election promises to both ‘grow the forest industry’ and end all public subsidies to prop up Forestry Tasmania,” Mr Booth said.

“Minister Harriss’ embarrassing attempt to claim credit for the success of these primarily plantation-based  private forestry businesses, is an admission that there is no role for the state in meddling in the forestry sector, and there is no future in native forest industrial logging.”

“Unlike Forestry Tasmania, the private sector success to which Minister Harriss points did not require millions in public subsidies, nor are they reliant on trashing our native forest estate.”

“The Liberals broke their election commitment to end public subsidies when they sucked out $30 million from TasNetworks to keep propping up Forestry Tasmania for the upcoming financial year, and the Minister’s so-called review has only recommended further reviews.  There is no plan.”

“Rather than just trying to claim credit for New Forests, Paul Harriss would be better off to look closely at, and learn from, their business model.”

“By pointing to the private sector, Minister Harriss also acknowledges what the Greens have been saying for some time.  The government needs to get out of the way, get out of interfering in the markets, and let the plantation based private sector get on with it,” Mr Booth said.