Image for ‘Rainforest logging submission highlights flaws in special species plan’

*Pic: The giant eucalypt forest in Keppel Creek is a magnificent ancient ecosystem. Pic: Ted Mead. The photograph is of a threatened forest that is in the permanent timber production zone. These forests are scheduled for logging in 2018 but they are not illustrative of the threatened forests in this plan to log regional reserves and conservation areas.

First published August 25

•      Logging reserves will require taxpayer subsidy or simply won’t be viable
•      Forestry Tas says logging methods called ‘common’ have not been used ‘within the last 5 years, and possibly as long as 10 years or greater’
•      Logging reserves will damage environmental values, Tas brand and timber markets

The Wilderness Society today released its submission into the Hodgman Government’s plan to log oldgrowth rainforests from within the Tasmanian Reserve Estate. The draft Special Species Management Plan is out for public comment until next Monday 28th, and is called-out as a political document, designed to create conflict in the lead up to the next election, with little credible reference to environmental, social and economic issues facing the sector.

The submission exposes a Government attempt to mislead the public into believing the canvassed logging techniques are ‘common’ and calls on Government to rule out any subsidies for rainforest logging into the future.

‘Government should drop its plan to log rainforests in Tasmania’s reserve estate and instead, properly protect these forests and get real about the economic, environmental and social challenges facing the logging industry, said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

‘Premier Hodgman’s plan foreshadows a real gap between log prices and cost of production and has absolutely no detail on how this gap will be filled and if the taxpayer will be called upon.

‘The Premier should rule out subsidising special species timber though his rainforest logging plan.

An email from Forestry Tasmania discredits the management plan’s claim that proposed logging techniques are ‘commonly used in Tasmania’, confirming that relevant past examples could not be identified and have not been used for many years.

‘We already know that six out of every 10 rainforest trees cut down will be wasted or wood chipped under this plan for logging reserves, now we learn that the logging methods it proposes are unproven, have not been used for years and have not moved beyond trials.

‘This proves that ‘tread widely, tread lightly’ logging in Tasmania is a myth.

The submission foreshadows that ‘it can reasonably be anticipated that retailing products sourced from logging rainforests in listed conservation reserves will create significant market-related issues including consumer concerns, resulting in downward demand pressure.’

Download Wilderness Society submission ...

ABC: Wilderness Society questions ‘special species’ harvest plan over ‘common’ logging methods

Cassy O’Connor, Greens Leader: Liberals’ Rainforest Logging Plan to Open Up Reserves …The plan to allow logging in Regional Reserves and Conservation Areas is as divisive as it is destructive and unjustifiable.  These places were set aside for protection, not for rainforest logging. Earlier this year when debating the highly political and ultimately defeated, ‘unlocking production forests bill’, the Greens attempted to scrutinise and debate the values in each lot that the Bill proposed to open up to logging. When listing the threatened species in each lot, we were met with laughter. This is indicative of the attitudes of the old parties, particularly the Liberals in government who apparently have so little to offer Tasmania, they have to resort to championing environmental destruction …

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: As a forester I can confirm that “tread widely, tread lightly” is a myth! It has absolutely no scientific validity whatsoever. No it is not a myth, it is a deliberate lie. Yet another forest industry lie foisted upon a gullible Tasmanian public …

• Ted Satire ...