Topic: election Oz 2007
Media release today 2nd June 2007 follows
Tom McLoughlin, principal of Ecology Action Australia, a private non profit foundation (with no tax deductibility) based in Sydney said today :
"The policy backflip to discontinue, after 20 years, forest conversion to plantation logging is well overdue. But there is as much spin as there is smoke in a logging regeneration fire as to the real cause of this policy backflip. It has precious little to do with reported comments here on Sydney radio by ex NSW Forest Commissioner Drielsma now for Tasmania's forestry commission (ABC radio 702 Sydney, Friday afternoon 1st of June 2007): It has precious little to do with the conservative green group WWF advocating against clearing for plantation.
" The real reason for the policy backflip is this: A month ago our micro ngo had rediscovered the original text of the election statement of 100 of Australia's best forest scientists on 9 Sept 2004 made just before the Howard v Latham vote.
"That scientists's statement specifically rejects the forest conversion to plantation logging agenda, and makes devastating critique of the whole Regional Forest Agreement, then 7 years old. This best scientific advice was ignored by Howard and lost in the Latham election loss but it is like a delayed hammer blow to the credibility of the Federal and Tasmanian Governments RFA in this sensitive pre 2007 election with climate concerns also paramount and intense criticisms over a new pulp mill in Tasmania.
"The scientists' statement first aired on radio national Earthbeat programme which was axed in early 2005 suggesting how sensitive it was. We have recently republished the senior scientists' statement in full on the ecology action website with 100 signatories here:
An abbreaviated version ran in the crikey.com.au ezine yesterday Friday 1st of June 2007 in the comments section to their 45,000 recipients, found in full here:
"We applaud the courage and integrity of these wonderful forest scientists who deserve a medal for speaking out in Sept 2004. If only their advice had been heard before now.
"We have in the last few weeks broadcast emailed the senior forest scientists' statement to federal members of parliament. Kevin Rudd as Opposition Leader stated earlier this year on ABC radio that it is the science that matters in such a debate and with a 20 point lead in the opinion poll he may well have the power soon to implement real science, not the distortions of Barry Chipman of the TCA group, also running on crikey.com.au. As such Gunns and Drielsma are pre emptively buckling to pressure from the real science, not censored or biased commentary" Mr McLoughlin concluded.
Mr McLoughlin holds a zoology degree from ANU. The credentials of the ecology action group are here: about us
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* Hans Drielsma was NSW Forestry Commissioner and was removed soon after the ALP Carr Govt election in 1995 in NSW due in part to the cooperative campaigning of the author then NSW Campaign Coordinator for The Wilderness Society.