Media Release 28th Feb 2013 -The proposed ongoing logging of forests nominated for World Heritage listing has been revealed today in the Legislative Council by the Federal Environment Department, a matter of serious concern that provoked production of a special report by Huon Valley Environment Centre and others, followed by forest protest action last week. The officials disclosed that the State Government is seeking excisions from the nominated world heritage value forests so as to continue logging these areas, a completely unacceptable approach to fulfilling environmental obligations.
The Huon Valley Environment Centre also urged caution over claims by Ta Ann Tasmania that they have requested not to receive timber from the areas inside the world heritage nominated forests, saying that it is Forestry Tasmania who need to make an official announcement that they will not supply timber from the nominated world heritage forests to Ta Ann before anyone can have any confidence that this particular source of contentious wood will not enter Ta Ann’s wood supply.
Huon Valley Environment Centre’s spokesperson Jenny Weber said, “Ta Ann asserting that they won’t receive timber from the World Heritage nominated forests is one thing, but a commitment by Forestry Tasmania that they will not deliver wood from these coupes has not been officially announced. Until the guarantee that the timber from the proposed logging areas in the Huon district is given by Forestry Tasmania, the assertion by Ta Ann cannot be verified.”
“Previously Ta Ann has publicly complained that they have to take what Forestry Tasmania supplies and that they have not been able to prevail on them not to supply wood from proposed protected areas.”
“Huon Valley Environment Centre operates on information that is available on the public record. It has been on the public record for more than a year that Ta Ann is the key driver of the logging inside the 572 000ha area proposed for protection by the Tasmanian Forest Agreement. Huon Valley Environment Centre’s campaign has been based on official documents, but today under Parliamentary privilege a misguided attack on the Huon Valley Environment Centre implied we made up these claims and that Ta Ann was never the driver of this logging.”
The Independent Scheduler’s reports from October 2011 stated, Ta Ann was officially identified as the company whose wood supply requirements are driving the logging inside this area. [i]
Documents released on January 13 2012 regarding the scheduling for logging in contentious high conservation value coupes refer explicitly to the contract to supply Ta Ann, and state that, peeler billets is the limiting log product in the South and North West. They outline that: “Peeler Billets for Ta Ann is an important driver for the harvest schedule.”[ii]
Ta Ann has not bothered at any time in the last year to publicly correct the assertion that they are a key driver of proposed reserves logging, as outlined in the expert reports made to the signatories and governments.”
In the Huon district we report the logging that occurs in the forests, the threats to the forests from proposed logging, and we have consistently found Ta Ann as a key customer of the timber arising from forests with conservation values. In the Picton Valley a coupe that is on the proposed list for ongoing logging, PC015B is targeted for Ta Ann despite its World Heritage significance. [iii]
[i] Hoffmann,O. & Williams, D. (2011a) Report of independent expert schedulers appointed under the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement. 12 October 2011. http://www.environment.gov.au/land/forests/pubs/schedulers-report-12oct2011.pdf & Hoffmann, O. & Williams, D. (2001b) Rescheduling Work – January and February 2012. 23 December 2011. As requested by the AustralianGovernment on 21 November 2011.
[ii] Report of Independent Expert Schedulers12th October 2011 p7, Supplementary Report November 2011, Rescheduling Work - January and February 2012, Report requested by The Australian Government.
[iii] Hoffmann & Williams, (2011a) Report of Independent expert schedulers appointed under the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement. 12th October 2011. http://www.environment.gov.au/land/forests/pubs/schedulers-report-12oct2011.pdf