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Tas Greens tell parliament forestry and tourism can’t co-exist

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has dismissed claims that forestry and tourism cannot co-exist in the State. “It is a matter of fact that a number of our iconic tourism ventures are located on or adjacent to forestry land, and have been for a number of years,” Resources Minister Guy Barnett said. Source: Timberbiz

He was responding to an open letter tabled in Parliament calling for the protection of Tasmania’s native forests to safeguard the nature-based tourism sector and Brand Tasmania, “as part of taking practical action on climate change and biodiversity loss”.

The letter, tabled by Greens leader Cassie O’Connor with 180 signatories including Patagonia, Paddy Pallin, Tas Gravity Enduro Mountain Bike competition, Spring Bay Mill, Derby Mountain Bike (MTB) businesses, and Derwent Valley Tasmania Tourism, called for an urgent action to stop the logging of Tasmania’s native forests.

Mr Barnett said the State Government was committed to delivering world-class tourism and forestry industries that can and do successfully co-exist in Tasmania.

“It is a matter of fact that a number of our iconic tourism ventures are located on or adjacent to forestry land, and have been for a number of years,” he said.

“Indeed, both the forestry and tourism industries have worked collaboratively together over a long period of time, fostering positive outcomes for both sectors.”

Mr Barnett said this was part of a joint approach to work alongside one another for the mutual benefit and co-existence of both industries with many tourism establishments built from, and proudly displaying sustainable Tasmanian timber.

“Despite continued efforts by the Greens to divide the Tasmanian community and stir up unrest, we have every expectation that these partnerships will continue,” he said.

“Each time wood is harvested from our native forests, it is regrown as native forest, ensuring a sustainable forest industry into the future whilst sequestering carbon.

“Further, the commitment to maintain an extensive and permanent native forest estate has been a key commitment of Tasmania’s Regional Forest Agreement, with the most recent Australian State of the Forests report showing that Tasmania’s native forest cover has increased during the past two decades.”

Tasmania’s forestry sector had been globally recognised as being one of the best managed and most environmentally and sustainable forest estates in the world. In any given year, less than one per cent of native forest on Permanent Timber Production Zone land was harvested.

“Unfortunately, the Greens falsely claim science is on their side and yet they ignore the pre-eminent experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which stated:

‘Sustainable forest management can prevent deforestation, maintain and enhance carbon sinks and can contribute towards GHG emissions-reduction goals. Sustainable forest management generates socioeconomic benefits, and provides fibre, timber and biomass to meet society’s growing needs’.

“The Tasmanian Government is all about drawing sectors together into a co-operative approach between forestry and tourism rather than trying to pick winners and destroying jobs, like the Greens, and dividing Tasmanians,” Mr Barnett said.