A report on ABC News last night showed the Bob Brown Foundation (BBF) clearly trying to reinvigorate the so called forest wars in Tasmania for its own financial benefit.
Our forests are the ultimate renewable resource and our forest products industries are vital for our regional communities. Nationally our forestry industry employs around 52 000 people directly and tens of thousands more are indirectly supported by a sector that contributes nearly $24 billion to the national economy each year.
In a time where we are focussed on getting people back into work and restarting the economy, once again we have economic vandals trying to shut down an entire industry, putting thousands of people out of work.
The BBF said as soon as they hear a chainsaw or a bulldozer, they will be out there in front of those bulldozers stopping work.
They wear their arrests and fines as a badge of honour but there is nothing honourable about breaking the law and endangering hardworking Tasmanians.
Appearing on someone else’s worksite and inciting radical and illegal behaviour, then seeking donations to continue this illegal behaviour should not be tolerated.
Those who work in the forestry industry are honest and hardworking Australians who are trying to make a living in a legal, sustainable, high value, world class industry and they deserve to be supported.
We have seen in Victoria the effects of the devastating unilateral decision by the Andrew’s Labor Government to end native timber harvesting which will cost thousands of hardworking Victorians their jobs, that is not something that I ever want to see replicated in Tasmania.
The value in this industry is not just in the timber but the jobs and livelihoods it provides and the regional communities it supports.
We have a world class, sustainable forestry industry that deserves to be celebrated not decimated by activists.