News - 25 August 2017

Rainforest logging submission highlights flaws in special species plan

  • Logging reserves will require taxpayer subsidy or simply won’t be viable.
  • Forestry Tas says logging methods called ‘common’ have not been used ‘within the last five years, and possibly as long as 10 years or greater.’
  • Logging reserves will damage environmental values, Tassie brand and timber markets.

The Wilderness Society today released its submission into the Hodgman Government’s plan to log old growth rainforests from within the Tasmanian Reserve Estate. The draft Special Species Management Plan is out for public comment until next Monday 28 August, and is called-out as a political document, designed to create conflict in the lead up to the next election, with little credible reference to environmental, social and economic issues facing the sector.

The submission exposes a government attempt to mislead the public into believing the canvassed logging techniques are ‘common’ and calls on the government to rule out any subsidies for rainforest logging into the future. "The government should drop its plan to log rainforests in Tasmania’s reserve estate and instead, properly protect these forests and get real about the economic, environmental and social challenges facing the logging industry," said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.

"Premier Hodgman’s plan foreshadows a real gap between log prices and cost of production and has absolutely no detail on how this gap will be filled and if the taxpayer will be called upon.

"The Premier should rule out subsidising special species timber though his rainforest logging plan. An email from Forestry Tasmania discredits the management plan’s claim that proposed logging techniques are ‘commonly used in Tasmania’, confirming that relevant past examples could not be identified and have not been used for many years.

"We already know that six out of every 10 rainforest trees cut down will be wasted or wood chipped under this plan for logging reserves; now we learn that the logging methods it proposes are unproven, have not been used for years and have not moved beyond trials.

This proves that ‘tread widely, tread lightly’ logging in Tasmania is a myth. The submission foreshadows that ‘it can reasonably be anticipated that retailing products sourced from logging rainforests in listed conservation reserves will create significant market-related issues including consumer concerns, resulting in downward demand pressure.'

Read the Wilderness Society's submission