The Tasmanian Greens today said that tens of thousands of tonnes of easily recoverable of firewood will be wasted if Forestry Tasmania goes ahead with plans to burn timber left behind from recent logging operations in southern Tasmania.

Greens Member for Lyons Tim Morris MP today accompanied forest contractors to logging coupes on the Plenty Plateau, where large quantities of firewood timber and young special species is about to be burned.

“Celery top pine, sassafras and myrtle that should be grown on to supply wooden boat builders and craftsmen in future decades has been smashed and trashed and is about to go up in smoke,” Mr Morris said.

“These two coupes are amongst the many in similar condition that Forestry Tasmania is about to set fire to now that they have announced that their annual coupe burning program has begun.”

“It makes me so angry that in the three decades that I have been observing the practices of Forestry Tasmania, they are still as careless and wasteful as always.” 

“As a hobby woodworker the most sickening part of it is the massive quantity of young specialty timbers including celery top pine and sassafras that has been pushed over and smashed almost beyond recognition.”

“Specialty timber users and craftspeople will be absolutely livid to find out that these coupes have not been considered for their long term resource needs.”

“Something has to change and it has to change soon, because the whole community is going to be outraged when they learn about the extreme waste that is continuing in our forests.”

“Until there is some real change on the ground, Forestry Tasmania will never make money, nor will it get the community acceptance that it needs if it is to stand any chance of getting FSC certification.”

“With winter approaching, Forestry Tasmania should at least be providing a transparent way for people to access the massive quantities of firewood that’s available up there right now.”

• David Obendorf: Harriss’ Bill Kill Strategy

Anti-peace deal MLC Paul Harriss wants to more than halve the initial section of forests to be reserved from logging.

It is understood he has the numbers to make it happen, when debate in the Upper House resumes next week. It was revealed that his confidence is based on discussions with the MLC who keeps this Tasmanian Forest Agreement 2012 Bill alive. 

The Deputy Premier Bryan Green has warned MLCs not to be “cute or tricky” and risk killing off the forest peace deal’s enabling legislation.

Mr Green says Mr Harriss knows that amendments will not be accepted by the non-government signatories and the future of the deal is in doubt.

“Those amendments need to be in keeping with the agreement over all so as to ensure that we can get the durability and the change that we want in Tasmania so we can take our State forward,” Mr Green said.

The Deputy Premier warns that if the amendment succeeds, signatories will walk away from the deal.

“Paul Harriss needs to be careful here. If he stands in his office window and looks out to the front of Parliament onto the lawns, he will see there is not a soul there protesting for his side of the story and being smart by half to try to kill the bill off by taking a step too far is just completely unproductive for our State and will set out state back”, Mr Green said.

MLC moves to cut down forest reserves