A Senate inquiry has called on the Abbott government to withdraw its proposal to reduce the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area by 74,000 hectares, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said today.
"The Senate inquiry has also called for Australia to stand by its promise to the World Heritage Committee to assess by June 2015 the Aboriginal cultural values of additions to the Area," Senator Milne said.
"The inquiry has exposed the lies behind the Abbott government's attempt to remove the 2013 additions to the World Heritage Area for logging, and attracted close to 10,000 letters and submissions opposing the reduction.
"Most of the additional areas are old growth forest, other native vegetation and outstanding geomorphic features, and only 4% has been heavily logged before.
"The World Heritage Committee knew this when the 2013 addition was made and it's now up to the Australian government to rehabilitate that 4%.
"Logging these areas would be madness. The industry doesn't want to cut these forests, no market wants to buy the wood, and the community wants to see them protected
"The government should withdraw this proposal to protect our international reputation and avoid embarrassing the World Heritage Committee," Senator Milne said.
The World Heritage Committee is due to release an interim analysis of Australia's application on May 16 in Paris (early this Saturday morning Australian time), and the Committee will make its final decision at the meeting running from 15-25 June in Qatar.
The inquiry report has just been tabled in the Senate and is now available here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environme...