February 12, 2014
The extension to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area was purely a politically motivated process and Labor and the Greens should stop deceiving the community by protecting a dodgy process, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck said.
Senator Colbeck said the 2013 extension to the TWWHA does not meet the definition of wilderness and was rushed through prior to the election without adequate investigation or consultation.
"Areas inside the 2013 extension to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area have been extensively harvested and regenerated over many years. The extension also contains human infrastructure such as roads, quarries and mines," Senator Colbeck said.
"The extension impacts on local communities and other groups that relied on the area for economic and social wellbeing. These people were not given a say in the proposed boundary adjustment despite this being an integral requirement of submission process."
Senator Colbeck said the Greens' claims that timber from native forests is unsustainable and uncertified are completely false.
"The harvest areas now locked up inside the TWWHA extension were subject to certification by Australian Forestry Standard which is recognised under the International Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification," he said.
"The Greens are very vocal for their support of FSC certification so they should know it recognises native forests as a sustainable source of timber."
Senator Colbeck said the Coalition is seeking to have areas of the TWWHA extension excised to maintain the genuine Outstanding Universal Value of the existing estate and create better outcomes for the environment, the community and the forestry industry.
The attached photographs, recently taken inside the TWWHA extension, reveal the area does not meet the definition of wilderness and detracts from the value of the existing site.