Additional Comments by Senator Rachel Siewert
The Australian Greens support
the recommendation of the Majority report and believe that there are serious
problems with Regional Forest Agreements that require urgent review.
We are concerned however that the
Majority report does not go far enough in addressing the failures of RFAs to
enact the objects of the EPBC Act and meet our international conservation
obligations and make these further recommendations.
The Australian Greens
recommend the Independent Review of the EPBC Act consider the option of
repealing s38 as the simplest and most equitable way of ensuring that forestry
operations are carried out with proper environmental protection.
The Australian Greens believe
action is required beyond what the Commonwealth is currently undertaking in the
protection and management of threatened species in those areas covered by RFAs.
The impact on the endangered Swift Parrot of logging in its breeding habitat is
a case in point. We therefore recommend
That the Commonwealth
Government commission an urgent review of the status, protection and management
of all priority species and communities listed in RFAs
Climate change and forests
is increasingly urgent scientific advice that rapid and deep greenhouse gas
emission cuts are required, continued industrial scale native forest logging is
inconsistent with this objective.
Australian Greens recommend that old growth forests should be protected
immediately followed by a rapid phase down of all other industrial scale native
forest logging. This should be accompanied by a well-funded transition plan
for affected workers and regions.
Gunns proposed pulpmill
The combination of the Tasmanian
RFA and amendments to the EPBC Act have prevented any Commonwealth evaluation
of the impact of native forest logging to supply Gunn's pulpmill together with
continued export woodchipping. Impacts on Matters of National Environmental
Signifiance, particularly threatened species and World Heritage values, have
not been assessed. Nor has the impact on greenhouse gas emissions and climate
The Australian Greens recommend:
That the Minister for the
Environment undertake a Strategic Assessment of the impact of supplying wood
from Tasmania's native forests for the operation of Gunns' proposed pulpmill,
including wood to be burned for electricity generation, and for exports as whole
logs or woodchips.
Senator Rachel Siewert
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