The Liberals continue to mislead Tasmanians over the future viability of the native forest woodchip industry.
Minister Harriss today told Parliament that government has received nineteen expressions of interest from the private sector in response to its so called ‘Southern Residues Solutions’ process.
The only way a private operator will invest in a woodchip mill or biomass generator in the State’s South is if they are assured of substantial public subsidies.
Gunns sold the Triabunna mill in 2011 because it was financially unviable.
Any native forest woodchip mill in Tasmania will be completely unviable without massive public subsidies.
So too is a forest furnace – unviable, unscientific and unnecessary in a State with a huge renewable, hydro energy resource.
Minister Harriss knows there is no business case for a native forest woodchip mill or forest furnace without him sticking his fingers into the Treasury coffers to prop them up, at taxpayer expense.
He should be upfront with Tasmanians – his pipe dream of rebuilding the forest industry will cost them dearly.
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forestry spokesperson