WA and Vic ignore federal calls to reveal ‘science’ behind native forestry closures

The Victorian and Western Australian state Labor governments have failed to justify their native forestry closures with science after reportedly ignoring requests by the Federal Government for the data underpinning their decisions, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton said today.

Last month, Federal Assistant Minister for Forestry Senator Jonno Duniam, on behalf of the Commonwealth as a partner in the Regional Forestry Agreements (RFAs), wrote to the Victorian and Western Australian governments requesting they produce the science underpinning their announcements to cease native forestry operations in 2030 and 2024 respectively. Assistant Minister Duniam has today announced that he has received no reply from either state.

“Australia’s forest industries welcome Assistant Minister Duniam’s efforts to obtain the Victorian and WA governments reasoning behind their decisions. This is entirely appropriate as the Commonwealth was an equal partner in the twenty-year RFAs which both states recently signed,” Ross Hampton said.

“The thousands of Australians who work in these industries in those states and the many thousands more architects and builders who rely on sustainably sourced hardwood for doors, stairs and furniture have also been left in the dark by both state governments who have so far simply issued media releases about their decisions.

“It is unsurprising that Senator Duniam’s request has gone unanswered as the decision by both WA and Victoria flies in the face of the best global science regarding sustainable forest management as a chief weapon to fight climate change,” Ross Hampton concluded.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that:
“A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon
stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest,
will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.” IPCC 4th Assessment

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