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Friday analysis: Bob Brown makes another jump to a false conclusion

Give Bob Brown an inch and he’ll take a heck of a lot more than just a mile. Take this week’s quite valid pledge out of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use signed by more than 100 world leaders including our own prime minister Scott Morrison to halt deforestation by 2030.

Bob Brown gave the pledge the credit where credit was indeed due.

“That will be very popular in Australia and is a top goal for the environment movement – though we want it immediately,” he said.

Indeed, we do.

Deforestation is a blight on humanity. Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture estimated last week than one million hectares per year will be cleared until 2030.

But that wasn’t enough for Dr Brown.

He jumped on the pledge and ran with it. And ran, and ran, and ran.

He said the pledge promised an end to native forest logging globally and in Australia by 2030.

Really? It says that? An end to native logging in Australia by 2030?

The only reference to 2030 in the communique was that “we therefore commit to working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation”.

In fact, despite Dr Brown’s claims, it makes no mention of native forestry.

But Dr Brown just wouldn’t let it go. Full steam ahead and damn the lack of visible facts.

“It’s heartening to have the PM on the world stage signing up to our goal of ending native forest destruction,” he said.

He did – with all due respect – no such thing.

“It is an end to deforestation,” Dr Brown said.

That would certainly be desirable.

Certainly, the Greens and the BBF will be comforted in this case that the deforestation they are so worried about does not occur in Tasmania, or anywhere else in Australia.

It has been said before, and is worth repeating, that timber harvesting operations in Australia simply do not result in deforestation, as all areas harvested are regenerated to ensure there is no net loss over time in forested area. Every Australian tree used is replaced.

“Either they know this and are choosing to deliberately misrepresent our sustainable forest industry,” Tasmania’s Resources Minister Guy Barnett said.

“Or they are scarily uninformed.”