Image for Forestry burns choke East Coast ... again

The Tasmanian Greens today again called on Forestry Tasmania to cease the archaic practice of so-called ‘regeneration’ burning, after Tasmania’s east coast was blanketed in smoke from these burns yesterday, and again today.

Greens Member for Lyons and Tourism spokesperson, Tim Morris MP, said the smoke from forestry burns conducted yesterday has caused the closure of tourism-related business in St Helens for the second time in as many months, as well as inevitably damaging the respiratory health of every person affected. [1]

Mr Morris also called for the Director of Public Health, Dr Roscoe Taylor, to investigate the damage being caused by these forestry burns, and to take action to protect Tasmanian’s respiratory health.

“These burn-offs are not necessary, they occur because they are cheap, and because Forestry Tasmania prioritises the health of the woodchip industry over and above the respiratory health of all Tasmanians,” said Mr Morris.

“The burns conducted by Forestry Tasmania have blanketed much of Tasmania’s east coast in smoke, and have again caused the cancellation of charterboat tours out of St Helens due to low visibility. It is so bad today that people are reporting to my office that they can actually taste the smoke.”

“The industry continues to trash what remains of Tasmania’s clean, green brand, as well as its tourism industry which relies very heavily on our brand.”

“The forest industry can change its practices or it will have change forced upon it by a very angry public – the choice is theirs.”

“These unnecessary forestry burns from Forestry Tasmania are damaging the health of every Tasmanian affected and are also damaging the viability of regional business. Forestry Tasmania must cease this archaic and destructive practice as a matter of urgency,” said Mr Morris.

Reference: [1] “Forest Fires Lead to Respiratory Alert For Entire North-East,” Media Release, Greens MP Tim Morris, 17 March 2010, http://mps.tas.greens.org.au/2010/03/forest-fires-lead-to-respiratory-alert-for-entire-north-east/

Picture from Davo’s Smokewatch, HERE