Tasmania’s forestry wars are well and truly back with a vengeance.
The media has been buzzing the last week with the to and fro of political banter, bluster, vilification and hypocrisy over the outcome from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting last week.
It really does beggar belief.
The proposal to log specialty species timber in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is policy madness. Such a move would set Tasmania back another 10 years. The damage to the economy and the community would be significant. There is just so much community opposition to this proposal.
The State Government is clearly out to antagonize as many “green” thinking people as it possibly can with the sabre rattling and chest thumping. What better way to foster a social, cultural and economic boycott of the State. Wedge and polarise the community in order to win the next election.
Politics pure and simple.
Given the legacy of the last 30 years and the continuing political and community heat around this issue there is no way UNESCO will accept logging in the TWWHA. But elements of the special timbers industry and our politicians will push this regardless of the risk and damage.
The tourism industry understands that this conflict is not just about the forest industry. It impacts the entire economy making Tasmania a less attractive place for investors and business.
There is absolutely no notion of communication, negotiation, understanding respect or tolerance in any of this. The TFA and the last State election demonstrated beyond any doubt that any attempts at dialogue and negotiation will be quickly sabotaged and undermined. Once again we are facing another crash through or crash situation, and based on past performance the only outcome will be the latter.
Just how dysfunctional can Tasmania become?
World Heritage Committee delegates will visit Tasmania before the State submits an updated report [Management Plan] to UNESCO by 1 February next year.
Tasmania and the forest industry remain embroiled in the continuing conflict and going nowhere.
Trying to encourage farmers to grow profitable commercial blackwood while the special timbers industry is run as a taxpayer-funded community service is a tough challenge.
Here’s some of my previous blogs on this issue: