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Time for Transparency and Change in Forestry

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 29 March 2018

Tags: Forests, Native Forest Logging, Tourism, Subsidies, Climate Change

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader

Senator Janet Rice | Australian Greens’ Forests spokesperson

A damning analysis of the Regional Forest Agreement in today’s The Guardian newspaper is an indictment on both State and Federal Governments.

Economist, John Lawrence’s precise and undisputed numbers prove not only the massive environmental failure of the RFA, but also the obscene past and future financial losses under this Agreement.


Ms O’Connor said:

“Mr Lawrence clearly explains the RFA has delivered a $1.3 billion loss to Tasmania, but Minister Guy Barnett and the Liberals wilfully ignore the reality.”

“After being challenged to provide contradictory figures, the Liberals clung to their empty, deceptive rhetoric.  Decades pass and major party governments change, yet facts and billions are lost to the politically motivated forestry debate.”

“The information the Liberals are wilfully ignoring is publicly available. The Forestry Tasmania board openly admitted in a letter to the Minister their contracts result in the government body receiving less money for their wood than it costs to produce.”

“Census data shows roughly a thousand less jobs in forestry in 2016 compared to 2011, and the latest ABS estimates show 200 less jobs in August, 2017 compared to just before they took office in February 2014.”

“This demonstrates what the Greens have long known, and recognised, Tasmania’s future is plantations not heavily-subsidised native forest logging.”

“The Liberals claim exports are growing, but logging more trees and still losing money and jobs is nothing to crow about. No one wins, except the dozen individuals and companies pocketing government subsidies – certainly not the Tasmanian taxpayer.”

“All the while, the Liberals are planning the destruction of the Tasmania’s High Conservation Value, one-of-a kind, forests in an attempt to lock in votes. The Liberals’ destructive agenda, however, didn’t even rate a mention in the election campaign.”

“Native forest logging is in decline while brand-based exports and tourism are on the rise.  Climate change is the greatest threat to humankind, and Tasmania is home to over 600 threatened species, many of which rely on forest habitats under threat. The Liberals’ can’t claim a mandate to log these forests, at continued, substantial cost to the taxpayer.“

“It is clear what forests policy we need for Tasmania’s future. There is simply no benefit in continuing to log native forests at such huge environmental and economic cost.”


Senator Rice said:

“This is such an outrageous waste on so many levels. Our native forests should be protected for future generations, not destroyed primarily for woodchips.”

“The worst thing is there is a better way: we could have an economically viable, 100% sustainable plantation industry that would mean native forests are protected, and regional communities would have a long-term future.”