Arrest of Bob Brown

The following statement is attributable to Nick Steel, CEO, Tasmanian Forest Products Association:

Tasmania’s forest industry is the ultimate renewable; it replants for the future according to a long-term plan; it helps tackle climate change by taking carbon dioxide out of the air and storing it (a fact acknowledged by the IPCC); and it supports more than 5,700 direct and indirect jobs in our state.

While it perplexes us that the likes of Bob Brown oppose this ultimate renewable product, we support the right of people peacefully and lawfully having their say when differences of opinion arise.

What frustrates most Tasmanians is that unfortunately some forest protestors somehow think it’s okay to impinge on the rights of Tasmanians seeking to earn a lawful living in the forest industry, by invading their workplaces and circulating disinformation to try and make their point.

We wonder if these protestors have any real understanding of the emotional and financial hurt and angst they are causing forest workers and regional Tasmanian communities by their actions.

In regards to the Swift Parrot:

  • The causes of decline in Swift Parrot populations are complex and include nest predation by sugar gliders, collision mortality, competition from other bird species, climate variability and change, and illegal wildlife capture and trading, as well as habitat loss.
  • Research has highlighted the significant impact of predation by sugar gliders. If current trends continue in the increasing sugar glider predation rates, a catastrophic decline in the swift parrot population has been predicted.
  • A trial funded by the Tasmanian Government has been successfully completed, and has resulted in a $700,000 Australian Government investment in work over the next three years to trap sugar gliders in nesting boxes to effectively create safe zones for Swift Parrots, to breed in addition to the safe zones on offshore islands that are sugar glider free.
  • As an industry we are progressive and always looking to improve. That’s why we support things like the Public Authority Management Agreement (PAMA) between DPIPWE and Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) for the protection and management of swift parrot habitat on Permanent Timber Production Zone Land (PTPZL) in the Southern Forests.
  • The PAMA provides certainty for the timber industry and benefits the critically endangered Swift Parrot, which will be further protected with almost 10 000 hectares of potential nesting habitat to be excluded from wood production under the Agreement.
  • This is coupled with an already existing world class forest practices system. The purpose of the system with respect to swift parrots is to maintain the breeding-habitat throughout the landscape. This is done by ensuring that sufficient levels and arrangement of important nesting-habitat and foraging-habitat are retained to support breeding.

The original media release is here: 201215 TFPA_MR_Arrest-of-Bob-Brown_151220


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