“The signing of the new Intergovernmental Agreement on Forestry and the accompanying funding package reveals that what started out as a process to exit native forest logging in Tasmania has ended with yet another massive federal government assistance package to prop up the industry,” Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said today.
“Conservation outcomes come a poor second, are not guaranteed and secured only $25 million in total over a period of years whilst industry assistance secured $119.4 million upfront in addition to the $87.4 million paid since the process started.
“$29.4 million is to be spent on roading, harvesting and residue movement which means further subsidising log trucks around the state and woodchips to the port.
“$13 million is to be spent on ‘residue solutions’ or disposing of woodchips which opens the prospect of further woodchip export subsidies and of forest furnaces to log and burn native forests for electricity.
“The Greens are totally opposed to logging native forests to feed forest furnaces and excluded such electricity from the Renewable Energy Target because of adverse impacts on the climate and biodiversity.
“It is sobering to see that some millions are allocated to communications to sell the Gillard- Giddings Forest Industry package whilst conservationists prepared to communicate with the community and for the forests are to be ‘silenced’ for not being part of the ‘mainstream consensus’”.