Guy Barnett,Minister for Resources
In an embarrassing revelation for the Greens, the UTAS study claiming sustainable forest management increased the intensity of bushfires has been shown to be fundamentally flawed and subsequently retracted.
This withdrawn paper formed the basis of the Greens’ political attacks on Tasmania’s world-leading, sustainable forest industry.
The question is, given the Greens advocate a scientific approach to bushfire management, will they now support the Government’s scientifically backed sustainable forest management practices?
The contemporary scientific consensus indicates that native forest harvesting does not exacerbate bushfires.
In fact, responsible sustainable forestry management is an important weapon in the fight against bushfires.
Tasmania’s native eucalypt forests naturally build up large amounts of fuel, which increases the likelihood and intensity of devastating bushfires.
By actively managing our forests, through sustainable harvesting, followed by controlled low intensity post-harvest burning, we can reduce fuel loads and the risk of bushfires.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping Tasmania safe from the threat of bushfires by delivering a range of initiatives, including our nation leading Fuel Reduction Program that has helped reduce the state-wide bushfire risk in Tasmania by 5.9 per cent, the lowest it has been in 15 years.
Not only does the forest industry have a critical role to play in reducing the risk of bushfires it also delivers essential support to the Tasmania Fire Service during bushfire emergencies.
Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) is a critical part of our bushfire response capability in regional and remote areas. In the 2018/19 financial year, STT staff spent over 66,300 hours fighting bushfires to protect local communities and forest values.
During the greatest health and economic crisis in a generation, the Greens have been caught out using false information to try and put thousands of Tasmanians out of work, destroying families and rural communities.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to a responsible and sustainable forestry industry, recognising the sector injects billions into the Tasmanian economy and supports thousands of jobs, many in regional areas.