09 November, 2011

Activists outraged at use of protected Tassie timber

Conor Duffy
ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), November 09, 2011

Environmental groups say the use of Tasmanian timber on a London Olympics building site is evidence the Federal Government's forest peace deal is failing.

Activist group Markets for Change tracked the wood to an Olympics training site to be used by Team USA.

Markets for Change spokeswoman Louise Morris says the timber is from highly valued conversation forests earmarked for protection under the inter-governmental forest peace deal.

"It really does shed some harsh light on the current IGA [intergovernmental agreement] process," she said.

Ta Ann Tasmania, the Malaysian-owned company that manufactured the veneer, says the London product was sold two years ago and came from regrowth forest.

The company's director David Ridley says he is thrilled the Tasmanian eucalypt is being used at such a high-profile event.

"I'm rapt that some of the world's best athletes can make use of a fantastic timber product," he said.

Forestry Tasmania says the amount of timber supplied from high conservation value forests is less than half a per cent of the 430,000 hectares locked up under the deal.

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