The admission by Greens’ Leader Cassy O’Connor yesterday that the Greens have changed their position on specialty timber harvesting in the TWWHA since the election completely torpedoes the “no” case against it now.
In 2013, the Greens’ Cassy O’Connor and Nick McKim voted for the Tasmanian Forests Agreement and its so-called “Taylor amendment” which allowed for specialty timber harvesting in any area in the TWWHA.
This TFA was also strongly supported by the Wilderness Society’s Vica Bayley.
Prior to losing the last election, the Greens’ claimed to be long-term supporters of our vital specialty timber industry, saying that it was the future of our forest industry.
But now, Ms O’Connor claims that because she lost the election and the TFA has been ripped-up, “all bets are off”* and she will now vigorously oppose something they actually voted for just two years ago.
My simple question is: if it was acceptable then, why isn’t it acceptable now?
As the sector themselves have made clear, they are seeking access on a last-resort basis to only a tiny fraction of the total TWWHA, on a selective harvesting method only, to sustain our iconic wooden boat building, furniture, and craft sector.
I call on Ms O’Connor and the Greens to put aside their hypocrisy, and just once be prepared to act in the interests of the state, rather than their own political self-interest.
Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources