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Forestry Tasmania - FSC Certification


Nick Mckim

Nick Mckim  -  Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Tags: Forestry Tasmania, Forest Stewardship Council

Mr McKIM question to MINISTER for RESOURCES, Mr HARRISS

When you were last asked about Forestry Tasmania's application for Forest Stewardship Council certification, you said that Forestry Tasmania expected to receive the final report from FSC'S auditors, SCS Global, in April.

Isn't it the case that Forestry Tasmania is now aware that SCS Global have revealed a large number of major non-conformities in Forestry Tasmania's application? Isn't it the case that those non-conformities include significant concerns around threatened species, particularly the swift parrot, and significant concerns around the old growth and high conservation value forest estate that remains under threat from logging in Forestry Tasmania's forward plans?

Can you confirm that Forestry Tasmania now knows it cannot achieve FSC certification without major changes to the way it operates in Tasmania's native forest estate and a further reduction in the legislated minimum sawlog quote? You have created this utter shambles in the forestry portfolio where you cannot now achieve the FSC certification that the market demands. What are you, the weakest link in this Government and the most incompetent Minister I have seen in my time in this place, going to do about it?

Government members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.

Mr McKim interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. The Member knows he cannot speak as he goes to his chair, even though incited by Government members.

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the Member for his question. The self-appointed saviour of the Senate again goes down that path of seeking to blame the Government for a process which the Member well knows is an independent audit process. It was Mr Booth who, not long ago, trotted out a whole heap of untruths about this process. Pity you don't have Mr Booth here to give you a bit of support.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, through the Chair.

Mr McKim interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, it is not time for debate and Members know that.

Mr HARRISS - The Member well knows this is an independent process. The independent auditors make their assessment. They conduct that thorough audit. They identify, during the process, whether there are conformances or non-conformances. It is a standard process. Mr McKim would have heard Mr Beaumont recently on the radio saying this is a standard process and the non-conformances have been identified. FT, like any other applicant for Forest Stewardship Council certification, is required to respond to those matters that have been identified.

Mr McKim interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. The Member for Franklin will cease interjections.

Mr HARRISS - The Member who keeps interjecting does not know as much as he thinks he knows. He seeks to be the font of all knowledge about Forest Stewardship Council certification and pretends to know everything. This Government has in the past and will continue in the future to support Forestry Tasmania in the strongest possible way. The process is independent. SCS Global will do what they do. They will make their assessments. Mr Beaumont has said that never in the past has anybody received FSC certification at the first cut. We hope Forestry Tasmania can achieve FSC certification at the first cut. It is, as Mr Beaumont says, unusual if that is the case, but we will continue to support Forestry Tasmania in their pursuit of FSC certification because it is really important in terms of marketing the product out of Tasmania to recover the markets which were lost, particularly in Japan, on the back of the garbage people had to put up with on the last Government's watch.