040811 Campaign of mistruths against native forestry

Environmentalists are not being truthful when they claim they do not want to close down Tasmania's native forest sector, Coalition forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck said.

'Markets for Change deliberately dodged the question when asked directly, multiple times, during an ABC radio interview this morning,' Senator Colbeck said.

'The truth is Markets for Change is intent on closing down native forestry activities not only in Tasmania, but also throughout Australia.

'The anti-forestry activists have been building up to the attack on native forestry. It began with dialogue about 'old growth', then expanded to 'high conservation value' and now they are dictating - without fact or sound science - an end to native forestry completely.

'Last year I received a secret document outlining plans for a million dollar campaign to attack Australia's native forest industry.

'This document made clear the end goal was to end native forest logging, first with a Tasmanian campaign, and then moving on to states like Victoria and Western Australia.

'It included price tags for communications and media services, polling, focus groups, a national web site and advertisement production - and $1 million to buy advertising space.

'For Tim Birch and Kim Booth to deny that ending native forest is the goal is hogwash.

'Markets for Change is a secretly funded, guerrilla-style operation that has embarked on a campaign of corporate greenmail, attacking legitimate Australian businesses and a legitimate Australian industry.

'I released the secret plan last December in the public interest and at that time expressed concern that any campaign - like all previous campaigns against forestry - would be full of propaganda and ignorant of the facts.

'That is exactly what we are now seeing: a greenmail campaign full of misinformation and distorted facts - like Tasmania can just switch over to hardwood plantations.

'The reality is our native forestry businesses produce high quality products under sustainable conditions.

Forest businesses and workers understand their responsibility to carefully manage our forests to ensure ongoing viability and health.

'Australia is recognised globally for the quality of our forest management 226 the environment movement continue to misrepresent this. 'The Coalition will continue to stand up for the native forestry industry,' Senator Colbeck said.

040811 Campaign of mistruths against native forestry
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