Media Releases - 06 December 2019

‘Sustainable’ Timber Tasmania’s Second Failure to Secure FSC certification Risks Market Access

  • ‘Sustainable’ Timber Tasmania appears to fail to secure Full Forest Management FSC certification for the second time
  • STT CEO Steve Whitely concedes major non-conformances relate to continued logging of old-growth forests and sub-standard threatened species management
  • Lack of FSC hampers industry’s access to markets

Tasmania’s state-owned logging company Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s CEO Steve Whitely conceded to a parliamentary committee this week that the logging agency appears to have failed to secure Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Full Forest Management certification for a second time. 

In a Government Business Enterprise committee hearing into the affairs of Sustainable Timber Tasmania on December 5, Mr Whitely said Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) would not be certified until significant non-conformances relating to old-growth logging and the management of threatened species were resolved. 

“This is the second time STT has failed to secure the globally-recognised gold standard of sustainable forest management. Our report to the FSC auditors, SCS Global, catalogued logging practices outside of what is acceptable under FSC - a certification that global markets are demanding,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society Tasmania. 

“Most serious of all, our report showed that STT continues to log Tasmania’s old-growth Gondwanan forests, lay waste to entire forests like the Wentworth Hills and drives multiple species to extinction.  With the FSC auditors agreeing with the evidence, it’s now impossible for Tasmania’s government to continue to pretend that STT isn’t still logging old-growth forests, despite community expectations that the practice cease. 

“As a Government Business Enterprise, STT should immediately publish the auditors’ report so that the public, as well as wood and paper manufacturers, retailers and consumers can transparently understand why STT has once again failed to achieve certification.

“Consumers don’t want products made from logging old-growth forests and logging endangered species’ habitat. This apparent second failure to secure the credentialled FSC is a major blow for those looking to retail unethical Tasmanian wood products into the markets.  

“After this second, failed attempt to attain FSC, it’s apparent that in order to secure market access, the logging industry’s future is in plantations and recycled fibre, and this is also where security lies for forestry workers. Tasmania’s Liberal Government should stop interfering in the markets, finally end its state-sponsored, publicly-subsidised logging of public native forests and transition the industry to a plantation-based model. It’s a no-brainer,” said Mr Allen.

For further comment contact Tom Allen on 0434 614 323.