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Save Tassie's forests: Senators.

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Bob Brown, Senator for Tasmania

Save Tassie's forests - Senators

2nd Sep 04

To ensure that future generations do not look back and regret the destruction of Tasmania's heritage and related long term tourism prospects, I am of the view that high value old growth forest clearing needs to cease immediately. Senator Bill Heffernan, Liberal, NSW

In the light of the deeply entrenched culture of secrecy perceived by the general community surrounding both industry and government involved in forestry issues in Tasmania…a judicial review with full powers of subpoena is necessary. Senator Aden Ridgeway, Democrats, NSW

It must surely be unacceptable in this day and age that we indiscriminately poison hundreds of thousands of native wildlife, birds, fish and other animals, through the continued use of and reliance on 1080 poison - pesticides and herbicides. Senator

Shayne Murphy, Tasmania

Tasmania's high conservation-value forests should no longer be seen as a future pile of woodchips, nor its native wildlife as a fair target for 1080 poisoning to meet the commercial wishes of Gunns Pty Ltd. Tasmania's reputation is as much at stake as the wild forests themselves. Senator Bob Brown, Greens, Tasmania

Labor, Liberal, Democrat and Green members of the Senate Plantation Forests Committee called for federal government intervention on Tasmania's forest practices, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

"Evidence of Tasmania's forest mismanagement, including large-scale clearing of native forests for plantations, impacts on water, failure to enforce the Code of Forest Practices and the impacts of chemical use convinced Senators that a federal inquiry was essential. The Committee wants 'full cooperation' by federal and state governments or else an inquiry with 'more compelling and drastic powers'," Senator Brown said.

"The Greens say the inquiry must have judicial power so that witnesses can be compelled to give evidence."

Senator Brown said he supported the thrust of the Committee's main report, but it did not go far enough. As well as the Tasmanian inquiry, the Greens recommend -

• Abolition of the special tax concessions which are driving plantation

establishment and a wood glut;

• Action to ensure that private sector investment in hardwood plantations is not

commercially undermined by state government subsidies on chiplogs from native forests;

• Commonwealth action to bring Tasmania into line with other jurisdictions by

prohibiting broad-scale clearing of native vegetation for plantation establishment.

"This inquiry outcome vindicates the courage of former Tasmanian forest auditor, Mr Bill Manning, who gave damning evidence of malpractice in Tasmania's forest management," said Senator Brown.

More information:Katrina Willis 02 6277 3170, 0419 704 095