Media Releases - 05 March 2020

New renewable energy target good but undermined by ongoing logging of Tasmania’s native forests

  • Tasmanian Liberal Government’s new environmental policies encouraging 
  • Restoring & protecting High Conservation Value native forests remains best climate solution, bar none
  • 226 HCV forest nature reserves, bought off logging industry by taxpayer for millions, still due to be logged 

The Wilderness Society today welcomed the new renewable energy targets announced by Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein in his State of the State speech but urged that native forest protection and restoration are included as the foremost path to emissions reduction and preventing species extinction. 

“Developing Tasmania’s hydrogen industry, an ambitious renewable energy target and increasing the electric vehicle charging network are refreshing policies from a Tasmanian Liberal Government.  However, Tasmania’s best option for reducing atmospheric carbon will come from ending the publicly-subsidised destruction of native forests and transitioning to plantations,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society Tasmania. 

“Protecting and restoring native forests remain the most effective ways to sequester carbon, as well as to protect Tasmania’s water cycle, reduce the risk of future bushfires and provide habitat for Tasmania’s more-than 600 threatened plants and animals.

“Mr Gutwein still intends to log 226 forest nature reserves across Tasmania, containing more than 10 million tonnes of carbon. The taxpayer effectively bought these forests off the logging industry for millions of dollars in return for their protection, but now Mr Gutwein intends to log them anyway. If this logging happens it would obliterate all the environmental policies announced by Mr Gutwein this week. 

“The quickest, easiest, lowest-cost way to boost Tasmania’s carbon stocks, protect wildlife and provide new, badly-needed nature recreation spaces is to permanently protect these outstanding reserves, which were part of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement,” said Mr Allen.  

For further comment contact Tom Allen on 0434 614 323