Forest and Wood Communities Australia, Media Release, 8 September 2021
The shock announcement today by the Western Australia Labor Government to end native timber harvesting in the state in just two years shows complete lack of understanding of forestry.
Forest & Wood Communities Australia said today it was unfathomable how any government can ignore Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change advice that forest management was an important tool to reduce and sequester carbon 1.
“Reading through the announcement is a bewildering exercise in frustration that people put in charge of such an important resource literally can’t see the forest for the trees,” FWCA Managing Director Justin Law said today.
“Climate Action Minister Amber Jade Sanderson even categorised sustainable forest management, which sees a tiny fraction of WA’s native forest is harvested and regenerated under the most stringent restrictions of anywhere in the world, as deforestation!
“How can someone with such an important portfolio be so completely ignorant of the facts. And the eco-fantasy that tourism will somehow replace the socio-economic value of forestry in WA ignores its failure in every regional area where it was promised.
“Our beautiful, sustainably managed forests in the south-west are already magnets for tourists and continue to supply renewable and highly valued hardwood from the small fraction of the forest that is harvested each year. Are they suggesting that the great majority of the forest which is not available for timber harvesting cannot sustain tourism?”
Mr Law said the decision is purely political and highlights Labor’s continuing and disappointing departure away from looking after the working classes to effectively becoming a rebadged Greens party.
“The fact is there is no rational or scientific justification for this decision and is another example of the insidious influence environmental activists have gained through the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN)” he said.
“Labor has shown in Queensland, Victoria and now WA that it is prepared to ignore credible science and spend regional jobs on inner-city votes as it succumbs to green activism,” he said.
“Sadly this trend has persisted for decades and continues to push our reliance onto imported timber and less environmentally friendly material such as concrete, steel and plastic.
“But the biggest tragedy is in the regional towns were shops close, sporting teams fold and once thriving communities wonder when the ‘tourism windfall’ is going to come their way to save them.”
Mr Law said it was time people stood up against the activism which has taken control of the native forestry narrative.
“People in forest communities cannot sit back and hope governments will protect them from activism which trades on outrage to create powerful lobbies,” he said.
“We see activism in politics, the media and academia and it is destroying a sustainable industry which the IPCC has officially recognised as our best chance.
“Unless everyone who is affected by disastrous decisions such as the one made in WA today stands together, activism will win.”
1.“A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.” IPCC 4th Assessment