Harriss's Woodchip Move Questioned

Today Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources, made a statement to the Tasmanian Parliament further detailing his Government’s moves to return Tasmania to the bad old days of forest subsidies and conflict.

And supporting his statement were numerous misleading platitudes about "agreement", some of which appeared to reference the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, which his own Government repealed.

Environment Tasmania’s spokesperson on forests, Andrew Perry said:

“In his Ministerial Statement, Minister Harriss refers to an agreement on wood supply volumes and production forests. What agreement is this exactly? There was an agreement, it was called the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, but Minister Harriss tore that agreement up himself. So now there is no agreement.”

Environment Tasmania is also concerned that far from there being any agreement, Mr Harriss appears committed to further division and conflict.

“If Minister Harriss and the Hodgman Government are genuine about their stated promise of ‘consultation with all stakeholders’ on the feasibility of an export terminal at Macquarie Wharf, then they will include environmental NGOs and interests in that consultation too.”

“Mr Harriss also waxes lyrical about various forest management certification codes, but the only certification the marketplace is interested in is FSC, and the biggest threat to FSC Certification for Forestry Tasmania is the Government’s own forest industry legislation.”

But perhaps most telling in Mr Harriss’s statement is his assurance that if there were to be a woodchip export terminal on Hobart’s waterfront, that no woodchip piles would be visible to the public.

Mr Perry questioned “If the government is so proud of its intention to woodchip Tasmania’s native forests, why does it feel the need to hide these native woodchips from the public’s eyes?”

Environment Tasmania calls on the Government to come clean to the Tasmanian people on what they intend to do with Tasmania's iconic native forests, and how much it’s going to cost them this time.