The Bob Brown Foundation is calling for a logging halt in Tasmania’s wilderness tracts of old growth forests and the ancient rainforests of takayna/Tarkine. The logging was questioned in the Tasmanian Parliamentary estimates on Wednesday after environmental groups have exposed ongoing clearfelling.
‘Old growth forest is being logged in Tasmania. In Tasmania’s Parliament Estimates today evidence of ongoing clearfelling of these fragile ecosystems was presented. Contrary to claims by Minister Courtney that Tasmania’s logging agency is not clearfelling old growth forests, they are,’ Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber said.
Tasmania’s Minister for logging Sarah Courtney was provided photographic evidence of clearfelled old growth forests in the Styx River Valley. Greens MHA Cassy O’Connor gave the minister our evidence of a tree approximately 600 year old, stump-logged and burned in the Styx east of the World Heritage boundary.
‘Minister Courtney is denying the evidence right in front of her face! Her authorised logging is destroying rapidly vanishing ecological and carbon values that our planet cannot afford. STT’s (Sustainable Timber Tasmania) own material states that within their permanent logging zones there are 34,000 hectares of old growth forest set aside for logging,’ Jenny Weber said.
The foundation and The Wilderness Society engaged forest advocate Ed Hill and botanist Nick Fitzgerald to assess the logging in Tasmania’s forests. This investigation formed our joint submission to the Forest Stewardship Council auditors who were in Tasmania for the last fortnight assessing Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s application for certification.
‘Continued old growth logging in Tasmania makes it very difficult to see how the unsustainable logging agency will meet the requirements of FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council). FSC certification standards require old growth forest to be protected. Tasmania’s rampant logging practices would strip FSC of its own reputation if it were to be certified,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘The evidence of old growth logging in the Styx is a small snapshot of the state-wide destruction of these fragile ecosystems as it continues unabated,’ the foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
‘Rampant and aggressive clearfelling of old growth forests is occurring right now in the Central Highlands, next to Lake King William, adjacent to the Wilderness World Heritage Area.
‘After we revealed the clearfelling of old growth rainforest in takayna/Tarkine last January 2018, the Tasmanian government continues to ignore the climate emergency and extinction crisis that outdates these appalling practices in our environment,’ Jenny Weber said.