All together now ...Pro- and anti-Ta Ann protesters mingle outside Ta Ann HQ, Sandy Bay. Pic: Matt Newton

Ta Ann should reveal truth about Eco Ply to Japanese customers

Ta Ann’s Japanese customers in Tasmania today should know the truth behind the products misleadingly sold to them as sustainably sourced, Australian Greens Acting Leader, Christine Milne said today.

“It comes as no surprise that Ta Ann has fronted the media today to pre-empt a protest held outside its premises in which environment groups demanded the company tell the truth behind its so-called Eco Ply product (TT: Protest at Ta Ann head office today).

“Ta Ann’s claims about sustainability in a publication released today is a direct attempt at pulling the wool over their customers’ eyes, and an attempt at painting itself as an environmentally responsible company.

“The fact is that Ta Ann is driving the logging of HCV forests that have never been logged and is paying a pittance for the timber. No amount of PR can disguise that.

“Ta Ann says that environment groups are peddling misinformation in their claims that high conservation forests are used in the making of Eco Ply.

“Tasmanians, and any prospective Ta Ann customers deserve to know the truth; they should go immediately to Miranda Gibson’s blog from the heart of a high conservation value coupe destined to be logged for Ta Ann (The Observer Tree, HERE, on (TT, HERE).

“Ta Ann’s product is obtained from the 430,000 hectares of high conservation value forests placed under immediate interim protection by Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

“The fact that Ta Ann has been named as the major driver behind the government’s decision to log 43 logging coupes within the 430,000 hectares of high conservation value forests that are supposed to be protected under the IGA is proof that Ta Ann is sourcing material from Tasmania’s wild and pristine forests.

“How many Government hand outs does Ta Ann expect? Already it has a 16 year contract for a fixed price and Tasmanians are denied information about the financial returns to the state for the logging volumes that are delivered to its door.

“Ta Ann is selling our high conservation value forests off as a cheap resource, just as Gunns did with native forest woodchips. The government must understand that customers will eventually be informed of the truth, and a company wrongly claiming they are using sustainable practices, is in itself unsustainable as a commercial entity.”

First published: 2012-01-30 03:36 PM

Vested Interests Cynically Blaming Triabunna

Kim Booth MP
Greens Forestry Spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens have expressed deep regret at the reported loss of 40 jobs from McKay Timber in Glenorchy and St Helens, and said it was disappointing to hear industry players dishonestly blaming the situation on the Triabunna woodchip mill.

Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that the reason McKay Timber cannot find a buyer for its sawmill waste is that there’s no longer any market for it, as the massive unsold pile of woodchips on the Bell Bay wharf clearly attests.

“If these layoffs are permanent, it is devastating news for those 40 workers, who are the tragic victims of a foreseeable collapse in demand for native timber products,” Mr Booth said.

“This has nothing to do with the closure of Triabunna, and everything to do with a financially unviable industry that is no longer able to find a profitable market for its products.”

“Unfortunately McKay Timber is treating workers like pawns and the taxpayers as fools, by cynically blaming the closure of Triabunna for a collapse in demand for both sawn timber and chips, that they have known was coming for a very long time.”

“If the state’s sole operating wood chipper Artec can’t find a market for its product, then what makes anyone think that reopening Triabunna will save the timber industry?”

“To blame the closure of Triabunna woodchip mill for this industry collapse, when Artec are operating a chipper only 140 kilometres up the road, puts the lie to Forestry Tasmania and FIAT’s false claims.”

“The reason for McKay’s woes is that Forestry Tasmania has driven the industry into a financially unviable model that relies entirely on public money to subsidise the logs and the losses.”

“Any business that relies on the sale of its waste to be profitable is not a viable business and has no future and it is way past time that Forestry and FIAT stopped their deliberate misinformation campaign.”

“Vested industry interests have been in denial for so long that they have brought this on themselves, by having no plan to transition the industry to a sustainable model.”

“The IGA is intended to provide the industry with a way out of this crisis, and the longer the industry tries to stall its progress the worse it will be for the timber industry workers who are the real victims in all this,” Mr Booth said.