Image for Watch: the End of Forestry Tas Ad

• New ad campaign launched to dismantle the Forestry Tasmania GBE

A coalition of individuals and environment groups today launched an ad campaign to highlight bad choices the State Government is making in the lead up to the state budget and called for the dismantling of the GBE Forestry Tasmania.

Starting tonight, the ad will run in prime time TV in the south and on commercial radio in the north.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Jenny Weber said “The environment movement has been pointing to the environmental and financial failure of Forestry Tasmania for years.”

“But, we have now hit a crunch point with the government clearly on a path to protect logging operations and subsidies to the logging industry at the expense of nurses, teachers and police.”

“This campaign exposes the failed financial performance of Forestry Tasmania as a key factor in the budget crisis and the resulting loss of around 2,000 jobs - many in front line community services such as nurses, teachers and police. “

“It is vital for the community to know that if Forestry Tasmania was producing even a modest level of returns, 500 community service workers would not have to lose their jobs,”

A report prepared by independent financial analyst Naomi Edwards and released by Our Common Ground on the 12th May 2011 showed that Forestry Tasmania should have contributed 43 million dollars to state finances this financial year. (Based on Tasmanian Treasury’s ROE target for Government Business Enterprises and equates to the jobs of 500 community service providers).

“As well as continuing the logging of unique native forests, Forestry Tasmania has contributed no money in the last 4 years, has overseen the collapse of the timber industry and has pursued policies which have generated massive community conflict. It is hardly surprising that this failure of management has led to a financial crisis which will result in the dramatic loss of community services. “

“Like the Hydro Electric Commission of decades ago, Forestry Tasmania is an unaccountable, outdated and dysfunctional organization, pursuing its own ambitions.”

Ms Weber concluded “We are calling for Foresty Tasmania to be abolished and the few functional components within it redistributed across other better performing Government Departments.”

The ad is supported by Huon Valley Environment Centre, the Tarkine National Coalition, Environment Tasmania, Still Wild Still Threatened, The Florentine Protection Society and authorized by Peter T Mead

Watch HERE