Native Forest Logging Could End with Little Economic Disruption

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New research from the Australia Institute, presented to the MONA Forest Economics Congress, shows that an end to native forest logging in Tasmania will have no economic impact on the state as a whole.

“The long-held myth that we need native forest logging for the survival of regional towns in Tasmania is a fallacy,” said Vanessa Bleyer, Australia Institute spokesperson for native forests.

“The economics of forestry shows that Tasmania has largely already transitioned out of native forest logging and at a local level many towns have already diversified away from native forest logging.

“Our research shows 99% of Tasmanians do not work in forestry or related industries, and 97% of forestry on private land is based on plantations.

“Continuing to log Tasmania’s remaining native forests when the industry is heavily subsidised by the taxpayers of Tasmania makes no sense economically or ecologically. Forests are worth more standing for their biodiversity, health and climate change mitigation values.

“On day 1 of the Congress, Macquarie Bank linked the end of native forest logging in Tasmania to carbon offsets. But both Victoria and Western Australia announced an end to the loss-making, environmentally destructive native forest logging industry without carbon offsets attached, and there’s no reason Tasmania can’t do it too.”

“Protecting Tasmania’s native forests just to offset new polluting fossil fuel projects would be a disaster for the climate.

“Using one market mechanism to try to allay the failings of another is economically foolish,” Ms Bleyer concluded.

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