24 February, 2012

Milne: Forestry Tasmania’s overcutting exposed. Forestry Tasmania board must go

Green Pages (Australian Edition), 24 February 2012

Forestry Tasmania’s over cutting of Tasmania’s native forests has been exposed in the leaks around the independent analysis of wood supply contracts as part of the Intergovernmental Agreement, Australian Greens Deputy Leader Christine Milne said today.

“What has become clear is that Forestry Tasmania has overcut and over allocated the forest to such an extent that even with the retirement of two thirds of its contracted volume via Gunns, Forestry Tasmania cannot meet the remaining one third of its obligations.

“With an annualised shortfall of 39,000 cubic metres of veneer logs, what would have happened if Gunns and TA Ann were both still in the market?

“Forestry Tasmania would have been hung out to dry and one or other or both of the companies would have sued for breach of contract.

“Forestry Tasmania must be disbanded beginning with the Board which has overseen reckless destruction of forests, overcutting, over allocation in contracts and financial failure with the $18 million losses over the past two financial years.

“It is time for the Board to explain why it permitted the over allocation of the forests and then the overcutting whilst pretending that the forests are sustainably managed.

“Forestry Tasmania and Ta Ann should apologise to the forest activists who have been telling the truth about the forest practices that underpin their contracts.

“Far from being sustainably managed, Forest Practice Authority chief, Graham Wilkinson has made it clear that Forestry Tasmania’s current practices do not meet scientifically based requirements for the protection of threatened species.

“Forestry Tasmania has argued throughout the process that, provided it can continue to ignore scientifically based requirements for the protection of endangered species, it could still meet its contracts until 2030 provided no more areas were protected.

“Now we know that is a lie. It cannot. Even with no reserves, and unsustainable practices, Forestry Tasmania cannot fulfil its contracts from native forests.

“Forestry Tasmania must go.”

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