Image for Answers needed on FT’s publicly-subsidised plantations

The Tasmanian Greens today (Mon) reiterated their call for the Forestry Minister Bryan Green MP to detail the extent of the publicly-subsidised plantation estate, and the availability of timber resources on private land, saying that the Minister has failed to do so despite an undertaking to provide this information to the Parliament last week.

Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said the Greens were also waiting for Minister Green to respond to questions over Forestry Tasmania’s renewed wood supply contracts.

“These plantations were planted specifically for the purpose of a transition out of native forests and they cost taxpayers millions of dollars. We are still waiting for the Minister’s response providing details as to how much money has gone into these plantations and to what extent they are available now for harvesting,” Mr Booth said.

“Forestry Tasmania is continuing to log native forests while choosing to overlook the option of harvesting the hardwood plantation estate, or forests on private land.”

“It is also crucial to the implementation of the Forests Intergovernmental Agreement to know whether any renewed contracts that Forestry Tasmania has entered into have changed in either duration or volume.”

“These details surrounding the renewed wood supply contracts may confirm whether Forestry Tasmania has been deliberately working to undermine the entire forest peace process.”

“Should the volume amount have increased from the allocation prior to the renewal, then the Greens would consider this to be a clear demonstration of bad faith and non-compliance with the IGA by Forestry Tasmania.”

“Forestry Tasmania has a vital role to play in the implementation of the IGA, and should be working co-operatively to deliver both the industry restructure and the conservation goals which are set out in the agreement.”

“On behalf of all Tasmanians, I once again call on the Minister for a full and detailed response to these unanswered questions regarding plantation availability and the volume and time frames for all new contracts signed since the IGA was signed in August.”

• Cass: The Role of Deputy Premier Brian Green What a responsibility for Minister Green and what a responsibility for all Tasmanians to keep aware of the issues as one person seems to have the authority to make or influence decisions that will be our inheritance for decades to come.
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