Senate rejects PM Abbott’s attack on World Heritage forests
The Senate has condemned the Abbott government's reckless attack on World Heritage forests and has called on the UNESCO World Heritage committee to reject the request to de-list 74,000 hectares of Tasmanian wilderness.
"The Senate has sent a clear message to the World Heritage committee that Australians do not support the Abbott government's pro-logging ideology," said Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.
"It is critical to Tasmania's future that the economy moves away from the logging of high conservation value forests. Global markets got the message loud and clear, but the Abbott government is stuck in the past.
"There is no future for Australia in cutting down native forests, especially those recognised globally as being of outstanding universal value.
"The Abbott government should busy itself with protecting jobs in the manufacturing sector, not embarrassing Australia and trashing our ecological reputation on the world stage."
Senator Milne will this week seek to establish a Senate inquiry to investigate the process that has led to the government's request.
The motion reads as follows:
(a) condemns the Abbott Government for its attempt to reduce the size of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area by 74 000 hectares to enable logging of high conservation value forests;
(b) supports the findings of the World Heritage Committee that the areas proposed for excision satisfy World Heritage criteria;
(c) notes that commercial markets reject timber products from primary native forests as unsustainable and uncertified;
(d) understands that the Abbott Government's proposed boundary adjustments are not based on evidence that this area does not contain world heritage values;
(e) supports the 2013 boundary modification; and
(f) calls on the World Heritage Committee to reject the request to reduce the size of the World Heritage Area.