Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Ms Weeding. Minister, what's your understanding of the level of emissions from native forest logging each year? What's your response to the researched assertion with a robust methodology which found that native forest logging -
Mr ELLIS - Simply an assertion.
Ms O'CONNOR - If you'd looked at the methodology you would understand how robust it is - emits about 4.21 million tonnes of CO2 a year. If you don't accept that figure, what data are you basing your understanding on?
Mr ELLIS - It is interesting. The model is a bit like taking the emissions of a solar panel but not accounting for any of the clean electricity generated. That is on its face to members of the community an absurd proposition. For good reason.
Ms O'CONNOR - But you do not know how much is emitted, do you?
Mr ELLIS - It is actually a net sequesteror.
Ms O'CONNOR - It is not.
Mr ELLIS - Actually, Ms O'Connor, it is. If you want to come back in this place, Ms O'Connor, to correct the record, I am more than happy for you to do this.
Ms O'CONNOR - Because you do not account for logging properly and burning and the loss of carbon from soils.
Mr ELLIS - If you want to come back into this place, Ms O'Connor, to correct the record, I'm more than happy for you to do this.
Ms O'CONNOR - I'm interested in hearing how much you think is emitted.
Mr ELLIS - It is actually a net sequesteror.
Ms O'CONNOR - How much is emitted?
Mr ELLIS - I think the community can understand this.
Ms O'CONNOR - Equivalent to 1 million cars every year.
Mr ELLIS - When a tree grows, we then harvest it, that timber is then stored.
Ms O'CONNOR - Are you patronising me?
Mr ELLIS - I'm hopefully trying to assist because you brought an assertion into this place that purely on its face is nonsense. It doesn't include for the carbon sequestered. I can see -
Ms O'CONNOR - What are the annual emissions of native forest logging?
Mr ELLIS - I can see why you -
Ms O'CONNOR - No, what are the annual emissions?
Mr ELLIS - It's actually a net sequesterer. That's what I keep saying, Ms O'Connor.
Ms O'CONNOR - Do you know? What are the emissions. So, we've a number here -
Mr ELLIS - This is the interesting thing.
Ms O'CONNOR - That's 4.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Mr ELLIS - Ms O'Connor, perhaps if I can help. Native forestry is a net sequesterer of carbon in Tasmania.
Ms O'CONNOR - What are the emissions from native forest logging?
Mr ELLIS - You've made the assertion that it's an emitter. It's actually a net sequesterer.
Ms O'CONNOR - It is an emitter. It is an emitter.
Mr ELLIS - I understand that it is actually a unique -
Ms O'CONNOR - Are you saying that it is not an emitter?
Mr ELLIS - It's actually a sequesterer of carbon. This is the thing, it's quite -
Ms O'CONNOR - Are you saying native forest logging doesn't emit carbon?
Mr ELLIS - I'm saying it is a sequesterer of carbon. It is actually carbon negative. This is perhaps -
Ms O'CONNOR - I'm trying to get an answer from a minister who disrespects scientists and then doesn't respond to their research.
Mr ELLIS - Ms O'Connor, for example, the recently released State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories report shows that forest land is the single largest carbon sink in Tasmania. In 2005 to 2020 forest land emissions have reduced by 600 per cent and forest land first achieved net negative emissions in 2006, and has been consistently negative continuously from 2009 to 2020.
Ms O'CONNOR - But you can't actually say what's emitted from native forest logging.
Mr ELLIS - I can't because it's a net sequesterer. I don't know how many times I have to tell you that, Ms O'Connor. I understand that it is actually -
Ms O'CONNOR - So you don't account for native forest logging emissions?
Mr ELLIS - It is actually a unique business proposition because there are no other industries, really, that sequester carbon.
Ms O'CONNOR - No wonder the planet is in so much trouble with people like you in positions of leadership.
Mr ELLIS - Because the tree is a unique -
ACTING CHAIR - Minister, can I please ask you to wrap up the answer?
Mr ELLIS - It is a unique facility, Acting Chair, because it sequesters carbon. The room around us is testament now -
Ms O'CONNOR - Are you saying that native forest logging doesn't emit? That it doesn't contribute to climate change?
ACTING CHAIR - Order, please.
Mr ELLIS - I don't know how many times I have to say it, Ms O'Connor, but for the record, native forest harvesting in Tasmania is a net sequesterer of carbon.
Ms O'CONNOR - Native forests. No, harvesting is not a net sequesterer.