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Forest criticism by radical greens all about irrelevance.

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Forest criticism by radical greens all about irrelevance

DAFF05/093M 16 May 2005

The predicted criticism of the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement by the radical greens is all about their irrelevance to the vast majority of genuine conservationists rather than any concern for the environment.

Australian Forestry and Conservation Minister, Senator Ian Macdonald, said the Greens political party and groups like the Wilderness Society realised their funding base is about to disappear following the launch of the package.

"These radical groups only exist financially by misrepresenting their position to well meaning conservationists," Senator Macdonald said.

"But with the addressing of the genuine concerns expressed by Australians, support for the radical greens will fall even beyond their dismal performance at the last Federal election.

"Australians are showing by their ballots that they are sick and tired of the lies of the green movement and are willing to embrace the sensible forest reform proposed by the Howard Government.

"For the last couple of months as the Forestry package has been worked through I have been predicting that in spite of the preservation of iconic areas and the other protections for Tasmania's biodiversity and forests, the Greens would still be critical in a desperate attempt to maintain their dwindling support base."

Most Australians now understand the truth of the Tasmanian forestry situation.

● Over 100 million old trees now permanently locked away in reserve

● Tarkine Wilderness Area fully protected

● Predicted increase of over 800 jobs in environmentally friendly timber

industry ● Over half of the Styx, including all tall trees, protected

● 42% of Tasmania now in reserves

● 97% of high quality wilderness preserved

● Almost 90% of old growth rainforest protected

● Clearfelling and use of 1080 to be phased out

● Conversion of native forests to plantation capped

● Country communities and jobs saved

"The Greens realise that with the Tasmanian Forestry Debate off the Agenda they become increasingly irrelevant - and without conflict their support disappears," Senator Macdonald said.

"Agreement and sensible outcomes are not in the interests of the Greens' political future.

"That's why they will continue their shrill campaign - not with any concern

for the environment but with an eye on their dwindling support base.

"For the Greens 'No Conflict' equals 'No Support'. That's why you'll have the Greens making up any lies to try to keep the conflict alive.

"True conservationists should be offended that Bob Brown, with his unbalanced approach to conservation and a sustainable forestry industry, thinks he has a mortgage on environmental compassion.

"The Greens will now have to survive or fail on their real agenda - which is for radical political and social change - an agenda that most people find 'Un-Australian'."

Further inquiries:

Senator Macdonald’s office: David Crisafulli (07) 4771 3066 or 0400 144 483

© Commonwealth of Australia 2002-2005 | Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry | Other DAFF Ministers | Prime Minister