25 July, 2011

Is the Tasmanian Forest Deal a Dud?

Media Release
Prue Acton and Noel Plumb, South East Region Conservation Alliance, 25 July 2011

The South East Forests Cannot Wait Any Longer

The South East Region Conservation Alliance has said that it doubts the announcement of $250 million for forest conservation in Tasmania is sustainable, politically or environmentally.

“Sadly, it looks as though it is a dud that will cause the Gillard Government enormous political pain,” said Prue Acton and Noel Plumb, spokespersons for the South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA).

“We can no longer be confident that reform of the Tasmanian logging industry will be a blueprint to protect the South East Forests (covering the NSW south coast and Victoria’s East Gippsland), the critical next step in forest protection around Australia.”

“We are deeply disappointed that this deal does not clearly set out a quick and certain path to end native forest logging in Tasmania and elsewhere. It does not even stop the present targeted destruction of high conservation value forests identified by scientists and the community.”

“This looks like another massive waste of taxpayer’s money, prolonging the death throes of an unsustainable industry rejected by most Australians. (Galaxy Poll May 2010)”

“The money, part of more than one billion dollars announced in the Clean Energy Future policy just two weeks ago to protect biodiversity and carbon stores, needs to be used to genuinely protect forests, not to prop up a doomed woodchip driven industry. Saving forests, not destroying them, is the most cost effective way to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions and save our wildlife.”

“The Gillard Government now needs to urgently intervene to stop the woodchip monster that is eating the South East Forests as well as fixing up the dud deal in Tasmania.”

“We are calling on Prime Minister Gillard to immediately engage the NSW and Victorian Governments on the protection of the South East Forests.”

“The critical role of native forests in protecting biodiversity and fighting climate change has been highlighted by scientists around the world”

 “ Yet, at this very minute, intensive logging is threatening to wipe out the last coastal koala population on the NSW south coast and is simultaneously threatening the future of tourism based on Australia’s ‘Wilderness Coast’ stretching from Bermagui to Bairnsdale in Victoria. (See below) “

“The once mighty spotted gum forests of Bermagui, home to the last coastal koalas, are being destroyed right now for export woodchips to Japan. For years the local community has begged the Federal and NSW Government to protect this forest and the those of Mumbulla, Tathra, Tanja, Murrah and Gulaga as home to the last south coast koala colony, with no more than 50 koalas left.”

 “Lying at the northern entrance to Australia’s wilderness coast, recently declared by Martin Ferguson as an international tourism landscape, these forests are also winter feeding grounds of the last remaining Swift Parrots. The parrots and our coastal koalas are both on the knife edge of extinction.”

For further comment: -

Prue Acton      SERCA                        02 6494 5144 or 0419 393 203
Noel Plumb     ChipBusters                  0425 23 83 03

1 comment:

Nativesrule said...

It is difficult to believe that at both state and federal levels governments dish out honey money to Catchment Management Authorities, Caring For Our Country, remediation works of a myriad disjointed and doomed programmes which might appear to the average citizen as though things are being taken care of...when in reality all are complicit in the wholesale destruction of this nation's natural heritage, too gutless to say NO MORE to a dying logging rape as you can industry...'you have had your time...the forests are now needed to protect the fragile populations in this crisis '...as habitat corridors to national parks they are being daily decimated...as areas that protected and shaded the drainage lines of our water resources they are being left exposed, as places once thick with a myriad species of ground-cover, rare orchids and flowering native grasses, they are being bulldozed...during this 6th greatest extinction crisis of this planet - now centred in Oceania with Australian Logging one of the 6 contributing causes. Forests are Finite when you cut them too quick. Genetic Pools Will End...and the governments of Australia will be responsible along with any citizens tainted with the temptation of apathy