6 October 2004

Wood, trees

by Matt Rubinstein at 11:03 am

I do feel for the Tasmanian loggers who rely on clearing out old-growth forests for their livelihood, and I don’t like the idea that Tasmania’s future is effectively being decided by mainland inner-city-dwellers like me. But at the end of the day we’ve got to accept that these resources aren’t replaceable in any relevant timeframe and that there is much more than an economic cost involved in depleting them. We’re going to have to stop logging sooner or later, and it might as well be now when we’ve got $800 million to spend on transition, as the ALP’s Tasmanian Forests Policy intends.

According to the ABS, there are about 4,000 forestry jobs in Tasmania, while the Tasmanian Logging Association estimates that almost 11,000 Tasmanians depend on the forestry industry, up to half of whom may be affected if old-growth logging is ended. The Wilderness Society estimates that less than 500 jobs are involved in old-growth forestry. Even on the worst case, that’s at least $150,000 for every person affected by ending old-growth logging, and up to $1.6 million for each job lost. Surely that’s enough to set up a viable alternative for the region. Unless they just like hacking down old trees, in which case, whatever.

Anyway, the whole thing’s got a bit shrill, and the real reason for the post was this article, in which National Association of Forest Industries executive director Kate Carnell says:

Politicians who renege on their promises are never acceptable to the Australian people.

Well, that made me laugh. Hasn’t she heard of John Howard’s “It’s never a lie to change your mind”?

4 Responses to “Wood, trees”

  1. Alastair Says:

    Apparently she doesn’t know the difference between core and non-core promises either.

  2. di Says:

    hey, just so you know, Luke has put a link to equinox on his website, in his blog. you’re getting famouser and famouser!

  3. Julie Says:

    Is that the Kate Carnell of the wonderful ACT legislature fame?

    My theory is that the Tasmanian lumberjacks just like hacking down old trees …

  4. mark Says:

    Yes, Carnell was Chief Minister in the ACT for a while. She was tossed out on her ear when people found out just how corrupt she was, and landed a cushy job shilling for loggers. During the bushfires last year, she endeared herself once more to the local population by blaming them on environmentalists…

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