Updated: January 20, 2010
Minister looking after Gunns' interests
The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc
Environment Tasmania Inc
Joint Media Release
21 January 2010
Environment groups have labelled the trip to Japan by Resources Minister David Llewelyn with Gunns boss John Gay and Forestry Tasmania boss Bob Gordon a mercy dash aimed at looking after Gunns’ interests by attempting to keep native forest woodchipping alive in Tasmania.
“If Minister Llewellyn was instead helping build a modern, sustainable timber industry in Tasmania, he would not need to use taxpayers money to travel around the world to defend this outdated and unwanted industry model,” said Paul Oosting, campaigner for the Wilderness Society,
This trip follows the December 2009 media reports that Japanese companies were demanding Tasmania provide them with Forest Stewardship Council-accredited woodchips — not woodchips from high-conservation-value native forests.
“Let’s be clear about what is going on here. David Llewelyn is putting Gunns’ interests ahead of the interests of ordinary Tasmanians and their desire to see our ancient forests protected,” said Mr Oosting. “It’s high time that the unhealthy relationship between politicians and timber industry executives came to an end – and that politicians actually started putting ordinary Tasmanians’ interests first."
“The Tasmanian community wants to see the conflict ended and our native forests protected. Japanese and world markets want the same, not further spin from Gunns and the Tasmanian Government,” said Dr Phill Pullinger, Director of Environment Tasmania.
“Japanese companies are turning away from buying native forest woodchips from Tasmania, but Minister Llewelyn is protecting Gunns’ interests by trying to throw native forests woodchipping a lifeline,” he continued, “It’s completely inappropriate for our politicians to be using public money to keep the destruction of our native forests alive when what most Tasmanians want is to see our native forests protected.”
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Tasmania Inc
130 Davey Street, TAS, 7000 Australia
Phone: (03) 6224 1550 | Fax: (03) 6223 5112