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Forestry Tasmania - FSC Certification (follow up)

Nick Mckim

Nick Mckim  -  Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Tags: Forest Stewardship Council, Native Forest Logging


You have now admitted for the first time that FSC's auditors, SCS Global, has identified non-conformities in Forestry Tasmania's FSC application. What are the nature of those non-conformities? How many non-conformities have been identified? You have not rejected the assertions that I have put to you earlier this morning, so I will now put them again. A second failure by you to reject them will constitute an effective admission that the assertions are correct. Is it not the case that Forestry Tasmania is now aware that the auditors have revealed not only non-conformities but a large number of major non-conformities in Forestry Tasmania's FSC application? Is it not also the case that those major non-conformities include threatened species, particularly the swift parrot, whose habitat Forestry Tasmania is logging hand over fist as we speak, and significant nonconformities around old growth and high-conservation-value forest that remains under threat from logging in Forestry Tasmania' forward planning? Will you commit to now publicly releasing the final FSC global report so that Tasmanians can understand the nature, number and extent of the nonconformities and the extent of your utter failure to manage this portfolio adequately?



Madam Speaker, I thank the Member for his question and again indicate to the House that this is an independent process. SCS Global undertakes the process which is required of it in conducting the audit to make the assessments and then report to FSC.

Mr McKim - You're just embarrassed about your incompetence.

Mr HARRISS - The Member is embarrassed that Ms Woodruff is seeking to gazump him and go to the Senate rather than him being the endorsed Member. I suspect the Member who keeps interjecting and making out he understands everything about FSC and all that is undertaken in the process of assessment and audit does not know anywhere near as much as he thinks he does.

Given the size and complexity of Forestry Tasmania's operations and the more than 200 separate indicators that are used, it will be unusual if, in the first cut, FSC certification is granted to an organisation as complex and large as Forestry Tasmania.

Mr McKim interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. The Minister will keep going and the Member for Franklin will cease his interjections.

Mr HARRISS - Madam Speaker, the member seeks through this process to derail and discredit the independent audit which is underway. The Member would want to do that because he seeks at every turn to destroy the forest industry. He is a pathological hater of the forest industry.

Audits such as this undertaken on behalf of FSC by the independent auditor are not about achieving a simple yes or no result. They are about ongoing improvement, which is a normal and positive part of the FSC process and should be part of any company standard practice. Forestry Tasmania has already committed in the public domain to releasing a public summary of the final audit report, which -

Mr McKim - No, I want the whole thing.

Mr HARRISS - There are lots of things the Member for Franklin wants. Most of all he wants to flee this place, head off to Canberra and seek to save the Senate.

Forestry Tasmania has committed to releasing a public summary and it expects to receive the independent auditor's report a little later this year. It is an independent process, and when Dr Hrubes of SCS Global has completed his audit and written his report he will provide that to Forestry Tasmania and they will release a public summary.

As part of its progress towards FSC, we all know that Forestry Tasmania underwent a full forest management certification assessment in December last year and earlier this year received a draft of the audit report. Forestry Tasmania is committed to continuous improvement and this has been embedded in its sustainable forest management policy for some time. We await the outcome and the final report of SCS Global and we will continue to support Forestry Tasmania's pursuit of FSC certification, unlike Mr McKim, who seeks at every turn to destroy and shut down the industry.