New 40,000 hectares to open in Tasmania

Friday 15 Mar 2024

In Tasmania, a dispute has ignited over the state's forests, pitting the last remaining Liberal government in Australia against conservationists and industry stakeholders. The government's proposal to open an additional 40,000 hectares of native forest for logging has stirred significant controversy, challenging a previous agreement forged in 2012 aimed at resolving long standing conflicts dubbed the "forest wars."

The move has drawn criticism from conservationists, forest industry representatives, and former politicians. Concerns abound that this decision could revive past conflicts and prompt consumer boycotts. Notably, the Tasmanian Forest Products Association has expressed disappointment, advocating for a thorough examination of the land involving a diverse array of stakeholders.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff has defended the decision, asserting its necessity to address wood supply challenges. However, opponents argue that the move could endanger jobs and tarnish Tasmania's environmental standing. Former Greens leader Bob Brown has strongly condemned the decision as a betrayal of trust and urged federal intervention to safeguard the forests.

The Labor Party has yet to unveil its forestry policy.

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