Tasmanian Deputy Premier Bryan Green was fresh off the plane from his much vaunted trade mission to China and Japan this morning, when he was confronted with a huge walking, talking Giant Pinocchio. The Last Stand, the Huon Valley Environment Centre and Code Green to give him a warm welcome back to Oz.
He had to wait for his bags which gave Pinocchio a good opportunity to chat to him under the media spotlight about his trade mission and ask the hard questions – Was he selling out Tassie’s forests on his trip? Has he suggested to Ta Ann they might like to correct their misleading advertising, in saying they only use plantation grown products? Is he a real boy?
A seven foot tall Pinocchio has joined the campaign to expose lies being told to international markets about the so-called ‘eco-friendly’ nature of Ta Ann Tasmania’s wood supply. Official reports have clearly identified that this company’s wood requirements are driving logging inside high conservation value forests.
As Tasmania’s Deputy Premier arrives home from his Asian trade mission, during which he met representatives of Ta Ann and Ta Ann’s customer companies in Japan, questions must be asked about whether he truthfully explained the source of Ta Ann’s wood supply and explained that it is not “eco-friendly” let alone plantation based. Did he discuss with Ta Ann an immediate halt to the logging within high conservation value forests in order to help the company retrieve its battered environmental reputation?
“Everyone knows Pinocchio’s reputation, and now his nose for half-truths and misleading greenwash has led him to the Tasmanian forests and the stories being told about them by the Deputy Premier and Ta Ann in Japan. Giant Pinocchio visited logging coupes in the Picton Valley yesterday, and was absolutely appalled by the fact that destructive logging operations are continuing in these world-class forests, and furthermore, that Japanese companies are being misled to believe they are buying “eco-friendly” products sourced from these sites of environmental destruction” said Ula Majewski, Campaign Manager of The Last Stand.
“Giant Pinocchio is the latest addition to our taann.com.au team as he inspects forest destruction, keeps an eye on claims made by the Deputy Premier, and assists members of the public in taking cyber action to alert Ta Ann’s Japanese customers to the true nature of Ta Ann’s product” said Jenny Weber, Campaign Coordinator of the Huon Valley Environment Centre.
“It seems that the Deputy Premier has glossed over the real environmental problems with Ta Ann’s wood supply, but this simply will not satisfy companies in Japan who are serious about their environmental reputation being based on substance and not on misleading spin” said Ms Majewski.
“We hope that Ta Ann will have suggested to the Deputy Premier that as Forests Minister he takes urgent action compelling Forestry Tasmania to immediately supply Ta Ann with wood from outside of the 572,000ha of ENGO nominated high conservation forests. Logging places that are being assessed for protection is totally unacceptable, and markets will never give it the tick of approval” concluded Ms Weber.
Questions must be asked about how the following facts were represented overseas by the Deputy Premier Bryan Green:
- Ta Ann Holdings claim in their Annual Reports, and their Japanese business partner SMKC advertise on their website, that their plywood flooring is eco-friendly and is made from plantation eucalypt. Yet in Tasmania Ta Ann is on the record saying that they cannot use plantations and rely on wood sourced from logging native forests, including from ENGO recognised high conservation value forests
- The Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement signed in August explicitly provided that 430,000 ha of the HCV claim would be immediately given interim protection in its entirety, and best efforts would be made to confine logging outside the 572,000 HCV area. Instead business as usual logging has continued, including inside the 430,000 ha, with the complicity of the Deputy Premier and Forestry Tasmania – thus breaching the signed agreement of the Prime Minister and the Tasmanian Premier.
- Official reports on the scheduling of the logging state that Ta Ann’s requirements are driving the logging inside the HCV areas.
- Ta Ann Tasmania insist that they require access to native forests, including the HCV forests, for the next 25-30 years.
- Although Ta Ann can only mill logs of small dimensions this does not mean that they only take logs from previously logged and replanted second growth forests – although this is misleadingly implied in their Tasmanian pamphlets