The Liberals’ have declared open warfare on Tasmania’s high conservation value forests. 

The draft Special Species Management Plan released Minister Barnett today is utterly reckless, divisive and politicised.  It would expose Tasmania’s forest reserves and areas protected for their conservation value to logging.

With large tracts of high conservation value forest in now threatened reserves in the North West, the takayna/Tarkine is under serious threat.

Conservation Areas and Regional Reserves are declared because an area’s natural values deserve protection. Minister Barnett’s plan would see many of those protected rainforests opened up to loggers and plundered.

Minister Barnett is a dangerous and incompetent Minister. Having failed to bully the Legislative Council into supporting his HCV logging Bill, this rapacious plan opens up many of the State’s high conservation areas to logging, including forests set aside for protection under former Prime Minister John Howard’s Community Forest Agreement.

In exchange for being the only group of people willing to back the Minister’s destructive forestry “plan”, Minister Barnett has gifted the specialty timber industry almost open-slather harvesting rights.  This, sadly, is the same industry that was shafted by Gunns and Forestry Tasmania, with rainforest species a by-product of woodchipping that was left on the forest floor to burn.

Based on the numbers in the plan, 87% of blackwood, 96% of Celery Top Pine, 88% of Huon Pine, 96% of Myrtle and 93% of Sassafras in reserves other than the TWWHA, will be available for harvesting.

This is the Liberals, once again, putting some of Tasmania’s priceless wilderness jewels on the chopping block to create conflict in the lead up to the State election. 

We will defend these forests because they are worth more standing and we don’t believe the majority of Tasmanians support logging in areas set aside for protection by past State and Federal governments.