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Forestry Tasmania comes out fighting

Forestry Tasmania has come out swinging in the latest round of the fight with anti-forestry activists. FT managing director Bob Gordon landed some heavy blows when he released a report entitled Forest management in Tasmania – the Truth.
“It is regrettable that we have had to devote staff resources that serves no other purpose than to counter the misinformation being used by anti forestry activists to hurt our forest products’ markets internationally,” he said.
The report corrects more than 50 of the serious errors and omissions found in the propaganda being circulated by Markets for Change and the Huon Valley Environment Centre in the United Kingdom and in Japan. “Our staff have done a great job in putting the report together, and searching out the evidence to refute the more outlandish claims made by these activists.
I urge you to read our full report but here is a summary of some of the key allegations we have refuted:
• Ta Ann Tasmania sources timber from old growth forests.
FACT: Ta Ann Tasmania’s machinery is not engineered to process old growth timber. Accordingly, Forestry Tasmania supplies regrowth billets under its wood supply agreement. Right to Information documents sourced by the Greens (not the Huon Valley Environment Centre, as claimed) confirm that, of 500 coupes listed as providing resource to Ta Ann, all contained regrowth.
• Timber from high conservation value forests has been supplied to Ta Ann.
FACT: Ta Ann has not been supplied with any timber from independently verified high conservation value forests. The Conservation Agreement between the Australian and Tasmanian Governments and Forestry Tasmania has confirmed that harvesting may take place in just 0.5 per cent of the 430,000-hectare interim reserve area declared under the Intergovernmental Agreement, while the independent verification process continues.
• Forestry Tasmania is supplying Ta Ann with the equivalent of 88 per cent of the legislated minimum sawlog requirement of 300,000 cubic metres per annum.
FACT: Forestry Tasmania categorically does not supply high quality sawlogs to Ta Ann Tasmania. It supplies peeler billets, which were formerly classed as pulpwood arising from the sawlog harvest.
• Forestry Tasmania is supplying Ta Ann with timber at a lower price than it could access in Malaysia or Indonesia.
FACT: Ta Ann Tasmania pays a premium for peeler billets compared to their value as pulpwood, which is the alternative use.
Timber supply to Ta Ann comes from the destruction of globally renowned forest.
FACT: There is no deforestation on Tasmanian state forest. All harvested areas are regrown – so well in fact that regenerated forests are now claimed by ENGOs as having high conservation value.

Despite the weight of evidence presented, Greens senator Christine Milne maintains Ta Ann had been panicked into starting a new publicity campaign in Tasmania. “Ta Ann is clearly panicking about the fact that they are being exposed,” Senator Milne told reporters.
The company said it had launched the brochure because the community had demanded reliable information after criticism by environmentalists in the wake of the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) on forestry in Tasmania.
“The brochure shows that TAT (Ta Ann Tasmania) is not a logging company as claimed, but Forestry Tasmania delivers AFS (Australian Forestry Standard) certified resource from sustainably managed forest for peeling in accordance with a long-term contracts,” operations manager Paul Woolley said in a statement.