Media Release 27/10/2012 – Threatened Tasmanian forests left open for destruction

Conservation groups Still Wild Still Threatened and Huon Valley Environment Centre are today renewing their commitment to continue their campaigns for forest protection, in the wake of the forest talks collapse.

“The failure of the talks does not mean that the industry can bury it’s head in the sand and continue to entrench native forest destruction. The reality of global market pressures cannot be ignored and the controversy over Tasmania’s wood supply will continue,” Still Wild Still Threatened’s spokesperson Miranda Gibson stated.

“The collapse of troubled forest talks in Tasmania happens right before a summer schedule of logging looms in Tasmania’s globally significant forests. Summer is traditionally a time of increased logging and building new roads into threatened wilderness areas,” Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.

“Our markets campaign will continue as the product entering the markets for Ta Ann continues to be from world heritage value forests, a controversial product that Japanese companies do not want. Our organisations will continue to be in contact with the corporate customers of Ta Ann, informing them of the destruction that lies behind the veneer they are buying,” said Jenny Weber

“We are calling on the Federal and State Governments to protect 572 000ha of independently verified forests, regardless of the forest talks falling over. The Governments has the opportunity to make an environmental and economic gain for Tasmania, through the protection of these wild forests” said Miranda Gibson.

“Unless the government takes immediate action Tasmania will lose significant tracts of scientifically verified world heritage value forests such as Butlers Gorge, which now face a summer of destruction” said Miranda Gibson.

“The contraction of the native forest logging industry needs to be acknowledged by the Government and by industry players. There should be no further funds by the Government for propping up the ongoing unsustainable native forest logging industry. It remains that there is not a market for the woodchips from Tasmania. Yet large swathes of forests continue to be clearfelled, while logs are stockpiled with no destination. These forests are wildlife habitat, carbon sinks and globally unique environments, their protection is still urgent,” said Jenny Weber.

“A change to Tasmania’s forest industry is inevitable given the changing global market and increasing public pressure for sustainable products,” Miranda Gibson said.

Contact

Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

Miranda Gibson 0414 535 164

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