Media Release

Warning to Burke: Consult before you bulldoze Tasmanian forest industry

The Coalition today sends a clear warning to Labor Environment Minister Tony Burke against submitting an application to UNESCO to establish world heritage areas as part of the Tasmanian forestry IGA.
 
“We have said many times over the last year that we will not recognize any new reserves created under this sham IGA process and we mean it,” Coalition Forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck said.
 
“That includes any world heritage listings. So if Tony Burke wants to avoid the embarrassment of a withdrawal he will not make a submission to the World Heritage Commission.
 
“We are not interested in his vacuous assertion that his sham process is the only alternative for the Tasmanian timber industry.
 
“There are alternatives that the Coalition has been putting forward for some time that are anything but the status quo.
 
“Tasmanians are sick of Tony Burke’s green-inspired land grab proposal which will impact on a number of important economic sectors including forestry, mining, tourism, agriculture, fine furniture and design, woodcraft and wooden boat building.”
 
Senator Colbeck said the September 14 election date gave Mr Burke the opportunity to frame a more rational consultation process around possible forestry reforms.
 
“There is time for all those who have not had a say in this sham process to do so, and for the community to make an informed choice,” Senator Colbeck said.
 
“The choice is between a Green/Labor Government which wants to spend taxpayers’ money to shut industry down or a Coalition Government with a genuine plan to grow Tasmanian industries and the economy.”