Tasmanian Times

Environment

BARTLETT GOVT LIVING IN THE PAST

Forest Stewardship Council Certification Will Take Timber Industry Out Of Commodity Trap

www.tas.greens.org.au
The Tasmanian Greens today slammed the Bartlett Labor government over their stomping on the requirements of the Green Building Council’s requirement for Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC) certified timber to be used for Education department projects.

Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that the both the Bartlett Labor government and the Forest Industry Association Of Tasmania (FIAT) were living in the past and this latest blocking of FSC would damage the forest industry in Tasmania as well as Tasmania’s clean green image.

Mr Booth also reminded the government that the Greens have been calling for FSC certification for Tasmanian timbers for years, advice if heeded which would have seen Tasmanian FSC timber being the choice for these projects leading to market preference and a higher return.

“By blocking FSC certification the Bartlett government has locked the Tasmanian timber industry into the bulk non-differentiated commodity trap which ends up a race to the bottom on price, the same painful reality that faces Tasmanian dairy, vegetable and meat producers,” Mr Booth said.

“The Education department had included a requirement that FSC approved timber be used in order to obtain five green star rating for two school projects, but ironically because of the government’s refusal to ensure that Tasmania’s timber production qualifies for FSC, we are in a situation where this timber needs to be sourced outside of Tasmania.”

“Forest Stewardship Certification is the way of the future for a sustainable industry, and David Bartlett and FIAT are living in the past if they think that anyone will accept AFS as a sustainable product.”

“The really sad thing is that under FSC all players could make a decent living and have a long term future which would challenge the Gunns’ monopoly and remove the political wedge that the Bartlett Labor government thrives on.”

“The market has spoken and consumers are now demanding a genuine standard such as FSC or they don’t want the product.”

“The head in the sand ostrich approach of FIAT and Bartlett Labor will consign the Tasmanian timber industry to the trash can of the commodity trap, if they don’t catch-up and ensure our timber processes qualify for FSC,” Mr Booth said.
Kim Booth MP Greens Forestry Spokesperson

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