March 13, 2014
Bob Brown shows no empathy for displaced Tasmanian families and forest workers in a recent opinion piece attacking the industry, Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture said.
Bob Brown quotes dubious statistics from his mates at The Australia Institute, well known for their anti-forestry stance, by claiming 1% of Tasmanian jobs are linked to forestry.
"The Australia Institute's previous employment estimates leave out many jobs usually considered part of the forest industry including special species timbers, wood and paper product manufacturing," Senator Colbeck said.
"Bob Brown also blatantly ignores people in regional towns where jobs in supermarkets, pubs and local schools may be linked to the timber industry."
Senator Colbeck said a strong forestry industry contributes to regional development. He said the Coalition is committed to revitalising the forest industry.
He said the opinion piece also showed a complete disregard for Australia's sustainable forest practices.
"Forestry is a renewable industry that operates on long-term cycles. Foresters are the best conservationists because they manage the forests to ensure they are sustainable and can be used by future generations," Senator Colbeck said.
"Bob Brown claims the forest industry will decimate Tasmania, yet at the same time he wants to classify previously harvested forests as wilderness world heritage. It is a complete contradiction."
Senator Colbeck said removing 74,000 hectares from the recently expanded Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, or 4.7% of the total area, would ensure the sustainability of future forest harvesting.
"The Greens real agenda is to close the native forest industry in Australia. The Coalition will not stand by and let this happen," Senator Colbeck said.