Media Releases - 04 November 2019

‘Sustainable’ Timber Tasmania’s imbalanced balance sheet only half the story

  • STT 'profit' fails to account for public subsidy 
  • STT still logging old-growth forests in a climate and extinction crisis
  • 25% figure for logging old-growth is arbitrary and not based on scientific data

The Wilderness Society Tasmania today questioned the fundamental notion in Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s annual report 2018/19 that it made a “profit”. 

“For STT to make a profit, it is necessary to know how much money the State Liberal government is giving it in the first place,” says Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society Tasmania. 

“This is funding that is being diverted from the core business of government - health and education - and into the taxpayer-subsidised logging of native, high-conservation value forests. 

“A genuinely balanced balance sheet would account for the total profit and loss beyond just finances to include society and environment, and this calculation would show that Tasmanian society is suffering a net loss because of the continued, unsustainable practices of STT.

“Forests everywhere need to remain intact or be restored. These are the two best ways to buffer the climate and extinction crises yet Tasmania continues to destroy these solutions for carbon sequestration, the water cycle and wildlife protection.

“In a climate and extinction crisis, publicly subsidising the logging of old-growth forests borders on the criminal.

“STT uses an arbitrary and unscientific 25%-or-less figure that it uses to justify logging old-growth forests. Similarly, STT may claim to not clearfell old-growth forests, but repeated logging using other methods, such as aggregated retention, results in exactly the same outcome: denuded and destroyed forest landscapes and ecosystems. It’s clearfelling by another name and an ongoing scandal.

“The need to transition to plantations, imperfect though these may be, is economically, socially and environmentally stronger than ever,” said Mr Allen. 

Contact: Tom Allen, 0434 614 323