Media Releases - 16 December 2019

Confirmed: Tasmania’s logging industry wants access to forest conservation reserves

Pristine Tasmanian forest. Image: Alan Lesheim

Tasmania’s logging industry now wants to log scientifically verified forest conservation reserves it previously agreed not to log in exchange for multi-million-dollar taxpayer payouts

  • New cache of RTI documents reveals Tasmania’s logging industry & State government secretly preparing to log High-Conservation-Value (HCV) forest reserves
  • Tasmania’s Minister for Logging ramping up risk & setting industry up to fail because markets - retailers & consumers - will inevitably reject unethical wood 
  • As in Victoria, Tasmania’s logging industry needs to decrease risk, job insecurity and unsustainable practices by transitioning to plantation-based model

The Wilderness Society today condemned secret government and logging industry plans to log scientifically verified High Conservation Value forest reserves across Tasmania, revealed by a new cache of documents released through a Right To Information (RTI) request. 

“If Tasmania’s Minister for Logging, Guy Barnett MP, wants to increase logging industry risk, job insecurity and product uncertainty, then proceeding with the logging of scientifically verified High Conservation Value forest reserves during climate and extinction crises is a great way to go,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society. 

“The logging industry previously accepted millions of dollars from the taxpayer in return for agreeing not to log these reserves and for their reservation. To have taken the money but now push to log these reserves anyway is as cynical as it is hypocritical.

“There’s never been a time that we’ve needed trees, especially native forest, more than now. Publicly subsidised logging of more of Tasmania’s Gondwana forests is public policy insanity. Premier Will Hodgman should know better. These forests need to be protected, both for their biodiversity and their contribution to reducing the impacts of climate change."

To drive down risk, increase job security and give consumers and retailers confidence, Tasmania should undertake the transition to a plantation-based model as Victoria is doing.

“You can’t be real about Tasmania’s ‘clean, green’ brand while preparing to log the very thing that defines that brand, especially when there are  superior alternatives readily available,” said Mr Allen. 

For further comment contact Tom Allen on 0434 614 323