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Why Radio Silence on Macquarie Point Native Forest Exports?

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Sunday, 5 February 2017

Tags: Macquarie Wharf, Macquarie Point, Log Trucks, Forest Stewardship Council, Forests, Hobart, Freight Equalisation Scheme

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

It is now more than four months since the Liberals announced that Hobart's port would be turned into a woodchip and log export facility, yet Hobart residents are being treated like mushrooms.

On 14 September last year, the Resources Minister announced the mysterious and very recently formed, Majestic Timbers, had been awarded the contract to export 180 000 tonnes of native forest timber out of Hobart each year.

We still are no clearer on who the mysterious Majestic Timbers are, when the exports will start and whether the business case relies on taxpayer subsidies through the Freight Equalisation Scheme.

This contract was awarded despite the fact that industrial scale logging continues to destroy threatened species habitat in the Southern forests, holding back Forestry Tasmania's bid for FSC certification.

These exports are also a disaster for people living, commuting and working along the route of the expected dozens of extra log trucks each day through Hobart.

Southern Tasmanian residents deserve answers.

People who recognise these exports will have negative brand and amenity impacts deserve answers.

Tasmanians who want to know whether their taxpayer dollars are propping up this murky arrangement deserve answers.

It's time the Liberal Government stopped treating Hobart locals, and concerned taxpayers more broadly, with contempt.