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Forestry - Native Forest Logging


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Tags: Native Forest Logging, Climate Change

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr GUTWEIN

As you know, at COP26, world leaders including Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed the Glasgow Declaration to halt and reverse forest loss. We understand from statements made following the declaration that your Government does not believe it needs to change forest practices as a result, in contravention of the climate science. Will you listen to leaders in the Tasmanian tourism industry, more than 180 of whom have signed a letter to you and your colleagues, the Minister for Tourism and Minister for Climate Change, calling for an end to the logging of high conservation value forests?

Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table that letter now, copies of which have been distributed.

Leave granted.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you. Premier, like the Derwent Valley tourism operators and agricultural producers heavily-affected by smoke from an escaped Forestry Tasmania burn in March this year, these business owners regard industrial native forest logging as a threat to their tourism businesses, Tasmania's brand and the climate.

If your Government will not end the logging of this island's beautiful forests for the climate and young Tasmanians who are demanding it, will you listen to tourism operators, some of whom have joined us in the Chamber today, who are pleading with you to act?

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Greens, Ms O'Connor, for that question. I welcome those tourism operators to the Chamber. It is an interesting question that you ask, because one of the examples of empirical evidence of where forestry and tourism can coexist is in my own electorate, in Derby.

Ms O'Connor - They're about to log around Derby.

Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, Order.

Mr GUTWEIN - I was involved in many of those early discussions with the tourism industry, the local council, the STT. Although, back then I think I was in opposition, so it would have been Forestry Tasmania. What was able to be achieved, very successfully, in Derby was a coexistence, something that demonstrated that we could have tourism, but we could also have sustainable forestry. What I have witnessed - and I am certain we will witness again post 15 December - is that people are voting with their feet. Derby is an extraordinary example of coexistence between the industry, tourism and the forestry industry.

Greens members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff, you are on a warning.

Mr GUTWEIN - I have watched with amazement as people have beaten a path to Derby's door, where there has been a coexistence of sustainable forestry and tourism. We have watched that mining town - which was once decimated in population and economic opportunity - spring to life as hundreds of thousands of people from around this country and around the world -

Greens members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, why is it impossible for you to ask a question and listen to the answer without interjecting? You are on a warning.

Dr WOODRUFF - Point of clarification, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER - There is no such thing as a point of clarification.

Dr WOODRUFF - Can I clarify that the Leader of the Opposition interjected eight times on a question earlier this morning. I am wondering whether there is consistency in this issue.

Mr SPEAKER - That is not a point of order. Please sit down.

Mr GUTWEIN - Acknowledging that we have tourism operators in the Chamber, I have witnessed the fact that coexistence can occur.

You reached into COP26 and the Glasgow Declaration, yet you are well aware that the land-use clearing regimen in this state changed more than a decade ago. We do not cut forests down and not regrow them. We engage in sustainable forestry in Tasmania, sustainable harvesting. All of us bring to this place our own lived experiences. One of those lived experiences that I have had has been to watch what I would consider to be an economic miracle occur at Derby where we have witnessed the coexistence of tourism with sustainable forestry management. As I have indicated, the world and the broader country have voted with their feet in that example.

It did not surprise me that you reached into COP26, but you know full-well that what was signed at COP26 is something that this state put in place over a decade ago -

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker, the Premier has misled the House. The COP26 agreement is about reversing forest loss.

Mr SPEAKER - That is not a point of order. The Premier has the call.

Mr GUTWEIN - Mr Speaker, regarding forest loss, it is well understood that in this state we plant more trees than we take. So, regarding the Leader of the Greens tabling her letter and the position she brings to this place, I believe very firmly that sustainable forestry and tourism can coexist, and that there are world-leading examples of where that occurs right here in this state. Those examples are well understood by the world and, by the country. As I have said, not only they have beaten a path to our door prior to 15 December, but I expect post 15 December they will continue to revel in what is one of the best examples in coexistence in two industries in the world.