COALITION’S LATE RELEASE OF FOREST POLICY TO AVOID SCRUTINY OF SUBSIDIES AND PERMISSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
For the second election in a row, the Coalition has released its Forest Policy less than 2 days out from polling day.
“It is easy to see why they would want to avoid public scrutiny of this document because it could almost have been written by the logging industry lobby,” according to convener of the Chipstop campaign, Harriett Swift.
The policy appeared the very next day after the industry lobby, Australian Forest Products Association demanded parties release a forest policy.
“The Coalition must be well aware of how controversial its policy commitments are and is obviously attempting to avoid public criticism by releasing them at this late hour,” she said.
“The policy continues a long standing tradition of propping up the industry with permissive environmental laws and subsidising it with cash from taxpayers."
“The industry has a long record of receiving multi million dollar subsidies from taxpayers and doing immense damage to the environment and the coalition obvious wants it to continue doing so,” she said.
“While much of the policy is platitudes or hot air, there are some serious items of great public concern.”
1. Renewable Energy Certificates for burning native forest wood.
2. Automatic rollover of Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).
3. "The Coalition will not support any further forest lock-ups."
4. "The Coalition’s Policy for Forestry will invest (sic) $15 million to make our forestry sector more productive and competitive" but doesn't say how it will do that.
It makes the bizarre claim that "More than 65,000 people are directly employed in the forestry logging and wood manufacturing sectors of the industry."
The full text of the policy is available at:
For details of current and recent subsidies http://www.chipstop.savetheforests.org.au/subsidies.htm
6 September 2013
Contact: Harriett Swift