Forests | Australian Greens

Forests

Tasmania’s unreserved native forests need be managed sensibly for future generations and so that they continue to support the ecological systems on which we depend.

Tasmania’s forests are internationally renowned and identified. High conservation areas should be protected. Tasmania’s unreserved native forests need be managed sensibly for future generations and so that they continue to support the ecological systems on which we depend.

Tasmania’s native forests provide habitat for native species, protect our soils, keep water supplies clean, are a major carbon sink, serve as the centrepiece of Tasmania’s tourist industry, are a resource for recreational, educational, cultural and spiritual pursuits, and are the basis for a range of commercial activities, such as beekeepers and honey production.

Forestry has a rich history in Tasmania and if we use our forest resource wisely then long-term employment in a profitable and non-conflict forestry industry can be attained. We must shift to higher value-adding from lower volumes of native forest and use existing plantation timber to produce a range of products. This will ensure improved career paths and higher skills for forestry workers. Industrial woodchipping has no place in Tasmania’s forestry industry.

Wood production must be pursued in balance with other industries that rely on forests. Government should not give preference to wood production at the expense to other industries that also rely on our forests estate. Like any other industry, the wood production industry must stand on its own two feet without public subsidies. We do not support a mandated minimum sawlog quota.

Plantations must be managed sustainably to ensure that they are appropriately located, use limited chemicals and do not unduly impact on Tasmania’s water tables. Plantations can be used for much higher value than pulp in Tasmania.

Measures

Administration

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. ending exemptions under law for forestry practices;

  2. ensuring that Tasmania’s public forests remain in public hands and are not privatised;

  3. ensuring that maximum value-adding and local processing are essential criteria for wood allocation;

  4. ensuring that all Tasmanian timber and timber products meet and comply with FSC certification;

  5. abolishing Private Timber Reserves and bringing forestry back under local planning schemes;

  6. ensuring that Forestry Tasmania and other relevant bodies are open, accessible and accountable to the community;

  7. strengthening the Forest Practices Code, including the biodiversity provisions;

  8. ensuring royalties cover costs of production, maintenance of the resource, and give a good return to taxpayers.

Forest Protection and Promotion

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. protecting all native forests of high conservation value by establishing a comprehensive, representative and extensive native forests reserves system based on public lands;

  2. supporting maintenance, protection and enhancement of current World Heritage Area and formal reserve status of forests protected under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement;

  3. ensuring the protection of forest ecosystems on private land where necessary;

  4. protecting biodiversity, wilderness, water, soils, old growth, endangered species, karst, scenic, aesthetic and recreational values;

  5. supporting forest-based tourism, taking advantage of forest protection;

  6. maximising retention of native vegetation on public and private land, including urban forests and landscape protection;

  7. increasing forest cover through restoration forestry on degraded and cleared land.

Native Forests

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. shifting to higher value-adding from lower volumes of timber through the creation of new Special Species Timber Zones outside reserves, and requiring any special species timber operations to be conducted at full cost-recovery rate only, and undertaken in a manner consistent with achievement and maintenance of full FSC certification;

  2. formally ending industrial scale woodchipping;

  3. making provision for other users, including leatherwood honey production;

Plantations

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. ending the conversion of native forests into plantations;

  2. investigating and remedying problems with current plantation practice;

  3. expanding domestic processing and innovation of plantation product with a focus on a long-term high-value resource;

  4. encouraging a more diverse range of processing ventures and the creation of new jobs;

  5. transferring the skills and experience of the plantation sector into areas where significantly higher volumes of sawlog and pulpwood can come on line;

  6. encouraging downstream processing and value adding for all aspects of forestry to get the most value out of every log;

  7. ending public subsidies and tax minimisations schemes for forestry;

  8. stopping government agencies from competing with the private sector.

Maximising Timber Value

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. promoting the environmental and commercial advantages of timber recycling and reuse.

Worker Support and Sustainable Communities

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. supporting workers through all phases of any industry transition, including up-skilling and retraining.

The full policy is available for download below.