Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr ROCKLIFF
I am showing the House a photo that was taken in recent days, near the Florentine Valley. It is a picture of a massive tree that takes up the entire tray of a log truck, all on its own. It would have grown wider and taller for hundreds of years, towering over the landscape, a crucial part of the forest ecosystem, worth protecting in its own right.
Under your Government, this beautiful giant has been felled. It is a crime against nature and it is not an isolated incident. Forest defenders time and again document massive old growth trees that have been logged with the help of your Government and are in the firing line in the future. This is native forest logging in Tasmania today.
Do you agree this is an old growth specimen? Do you really believe that the logging of massive old growth trees is okay? Will you listen to the majority of Tasmanians, thousands of whom were on the street and rallying last week, who want to end native forest logging? Will you commit to that so that former giants like this do not end up on the back of log trucks?
Mr SPEAKER -The member's time has expired.
Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question. Tasmanian giant trees are among the largest hardwoods in the world and are of national and international significance -
Dr Woodruff - And state significance?
Mr SPEAKER - Order.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Giant trees can exist in our extensive reserves and protected areas and also in our public production forests. Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (STT) recognises the cultural value of these trees and has well developed policies and procedures in place for the ongoing protection of giant trees -
Dr Woodruff - Absolute rubbish.
Mr SPEAKER - Order.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Through its giant tree policy, STT requires that all trees as least 85 metres in height or 280 cubic metres in volume are protected. STT implements its policy by actively searching for giant trees using LiDAR technology, conducting field confirmation surveys and by establishing an informal reserve that provides a minimum 100 metre buffer around any identified giant tree.
Dr Woodruff - So why did they miss this?
Mr SPEAKER - Leader of the Greens, if you interject again I will ask you to leave the Chamber.
Mr ROCKLIFF - STT employs [conducted details 10.49.51??], operational planning to identify giant trees and a range of other special values such as threatened species habitats, soil and water and cultural heritage within the potential harvest areas.
Specific measures are included in operational plans to appropriately protect these values. All operations are conducted in accordance with Tasmania's forest practices system and Sustainable Timber Tasmania's policies. A significant proportion of STT's harvesting activity occurs in regrowth forest and STT welcomes input from stakeholders to inform its operational and decision-making processes.
We are and have always been for a sustainable native forest sector. That will continue. I understand the member's long held view around native forestry and wanting to shut the industry down. It has been a long held and consistent position. Our consistent position is for a sustainable native forest industry, a $1.2 billion industry employing 5000 people. Your position is clear. Our position is clear. It is not clear where the Labor Party stands on forestry matters. At least we know where you stand. Tasmanians know where we stand. No one knows where the Labor Party stands on much at all.