There is no certainty that the Tasmanian Forest Agreement will proceed. Legislation to give force to the agreement is yet to be considered by the Upper House of the Tasmanian Parliament which has been recalled to consider the Bill next week.
Ta Ann is putting on pressure to try to secure the deal. Otherwise they will leave Tasmania. They have suddenly come up with the enticement of a new plywood plant in the north of the state – obviously trying to expand the geography of their possible presence to cover a few more electorates. Maybe that will get them a few key votes?
The likelihood of such a factory actually eventuating is not high. About the same as the flitch mill to recover useable timber at the Triabunna woodchip mill – regularly promised when support was needed, but never built.
Tasmania’s Upper House has been very critical of the IGA process that came up with the forest agreement over the entire period of the negotiations. Since an agreement was reached, their public statements have indicated that they will either reject the legislation or substantially amend it – most probably to water down the environmental outcomes.
This is on top of the poor prospects under the existing agreement for getting industrial logging out of magnificent heritage value forests before they suffer the assault of an entire summer logging season, or more. There are no deadlines for actually stopping logging and getting some protection for the forests that it is said will be reserved.
It is unacceptable and misguided that eNGOs who are parties to the agreement have apparently agreed to go on an international trade mission backing Ta Ann if the legislation passes the Upper House – during a period in which Ta Ann product is likely to be coming out of proposed new reserves.
Why advocate to markets that they buy the product of destroying forests of World Heritage and national heritage value, instead of insisting on forest protection as a pre-requisite for support? A lot of damage will be done to these places until the loggers are refused access.
How Ta Ann could help save the proposed reserves
Here’s what we are asking Ta Ann to do so that their product will not come from ongoing destruction of key forests.
Ta Ann will be renegotiating their wood supply pursuant to the Tasmanian Forests Agreement if the legislation does pass the Parliament.
The means that Ta Ann has the opportunity to insist that their wood supply is sourced entirely from outside the proposed new reserves, commencing immediately.