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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

ROTARY PEELED VENEER: THE RIGHT PROJECT USING THE WRONG RESOURCE

ROTARY PEELED VENEER: THE RIGHT PROJECT USING THE WRONG RESOURCE

Plantation-Based Plant Acceptable


The Tasmanian Greens today said the government announcement of rotary peeling veneer plants based in high conservation value forests and areas which timber workers want managed for specialty timber production is not ecologically sustainable, but that if they were prepared to utilise Tasmania’s existing, suitable plantation eucalypt resource for rotary peeling instead it could be supported by everyone.

Greens Opposition Leader and spokesperson on Forestry Peg Putt MHA said that the Greens have shown in their Forest Transition Strategy how jobs can be created from plantations coming on line around Tasmania, and have shown that a laminated veneer lumber plant creates more jobs for the amount of plantation wood supply than would a pulp mill, but that the Lennon Government is hell bent on controversial logging to supply the ventures because they want forestry conflict during an election campaign.

Ms Putt also reminded that Timber Workers for Forests have lamented the whole-log exports of their potential future resource, but that instead of allowing these trees to grow on into a high quality eucalypt sawlog resource for highest value-adding the government was still planning to clearfell them young but put them through lower value-adding rotary peeling veneer mills.

“This is the right type of project using the wrong resource, but it can and should be based entirely in Tasmania’s existing eucalypt plantations to be genuinely sustainable and achieve support from everyone in the community,” Ms Putt said.

“Unfortunately Paul Lennon and Forestry Tasmania are hell bent on clearfelling and burning wild native forests of high conversation value, and also will not create Specialty Timber Zones for high value eucalypt sawlog production, instead targeting these forests for rotary peeled veneer when plantations would do the job better and with less outcry.”

“My challenge to Paul Lennon is to stop deliberately creating controversy by targeting sensitive forests for these projects as we come into an election campaign and to take the modern, responsible course of rotary peeling plantation grown timber for laminated veneer lumber, in which case the Greens will applaud and stand with you for ecologically sustainable job creation.”

“It is frustrating that we have researched job-creating, value-adding timber manufacturing and the available plantation resource and demonstrated that veneer plants are prospective for Tasmania, but that the government has only picked up one part of the picture from our Forest Transition Strategy and failed on the wood supply component.”

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