Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Abbott Again - This Time He Wants to Roll Back Protection for Tasmania's World Heritage Forests

Hellyer Gorge, Tasmania
Hellyer Gorge, Tasmania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by SumOfUs

It’s not often that environmentalists, the timber industry and unions agree on forests - but now Tony Abbott wants to shred their landmark agreement to protect Tasmania’s forests

In just a few days, the government will ask the World Heritage Committee to strip Tasmania’s forests of their protection - and we can’t let this happen.

It’s less than one year since Tasmania’s forests were given the highest level of protection. 

Green groups and the timber industry still support the agreement - and even the Forestry Industry Association is asking the government not to interfere. 

But Abbott’s determined to undo this historic agreement to save the forests, unless we can show him the public won’t accept it.

Please take a moment to sign the petition to Tony Abbott asking him to respect the Forestry Agreement and protect Tasmania’s forests.

The Tasmanian Government has also spoken out against this outrageous plan. The state environment minister wants to compete on quality, not quantity, but has said that the Coalition government is “hell-bent on taking the industry backwards and removing any chance for Tasmania to market its products.”

Conservationists have spent decades fighting to protect Tasmania’s old growth forests and the agreement between the industry and green groups is truly remarkable. But if Abbott gets his way it could set things back decades and reignite a bitter feud. 

His recklessness is putting 170,000 hectares of forest at risk - including many old growth areas protected for the first time under the historic agreement.

Abbott thinks he can get away with this - and it’s up to us to show him the political cost to his actions. 

Already, his government is struggling with low opinion poll ratings as it tries to implement unpopular policies - and public outrage has already forced Abbott into retreat on issues like school funding. 

Green groups and industry are already putting the pressure on Abbott not to undermine their deal. Now we need to show him that the public is also opposed.

Please sign the urgent petition to Abbott and ask him to listen to the timber industry and conservationists.


Marguerite, Rob and the rest of us. 

More information:

Tasmania Forest heritage listing comes under threat from Coalition, The Guardian, December 23rd 2013. 

Greg Hunt seeks to wind back world Heritage protection for Tasmanian forests, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 23rd 2014.
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