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9/2004 - statement of best forest scientists on Tasmanian logging problem

Statement of support for change on Tasmania's forests

9 September 2004

The Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is widely perceived in the scientific community to have failed to deliver the intended protection for environmental, wilderness and heritage values that state and federal governments committed to when they signed the National Forest Policy in 1992.

The scientific processes in the Tasmanian RFA were overwhelmed by political compromises. Established criteria for forest conservation were not fully applied. There are large areas of high conservation value forest that would have been reserved if the RFA criteria for forest conservation had been fully applied.

Logging practices and the conversion of native forests to plantations have intensified in the seven years since the signing of the RFA, resulting in record volumes of export wood chip production. This intensification, combined with the well-documented inadequacies of the conservation reserve system (exemplified by the large areas of unlogged Eucalyptus regnans tall open-forest that remain unprotected) has produced highly modified forested landscapes with diminished landscape values.

There is an urgent need for Commonwealth government intervention to significantly improve the forest reserve system and to adequately protect landscape values. We believe that the conversion of native forests to plantations is highly undesirable, and is contrary to the spirit of the RFA, the National Plantations Policy, the Forest Stewardship Council and the Australian Forestry Standard.

In light of the extensive changes that have occurred in many of the most productive forest ecosystems in Tasmania, we believe that the reserve system should be significantly extended to include all high conservation value forests.

Signed,

Professor Tim Bonyhady FAAH FSSA, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Professor Ralf Buckley, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD

Professor Mark Burgman, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Professor David Gillieson, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD

Professor Richard Hobbs FAAS, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA

Professor Peter Kershaw, Monash University, Clayton, VIC

Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick AM, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Professor Charles J Krebs, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT

Professor Tony Norton, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Professor Harry Recher AM, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA

Professor Jann Williams, LaTrobe University, Bendigo, VIC

Associate Professor Jeremy Bruhl, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Associate Professor Brendan Mackey, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Associate Professor Nick Reid, University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Dr Deborah Rose FASSA (Senior Fellow), The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Matthew Appleby, Tea Tree, TAS

Dr Colin Arrowsmith, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Geoff Bedford, Cremorne, NSW

Dr Sarah Bekessy, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Kirsten Benkendorff, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA

Dr Joe Benshemesh, Alice Springs, NT

Dr Sandra Berry, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Mark Breitfuss, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, QLD

Dr Karl E C Brennan, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA

Dr Don Driscoll, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA

Dr Alaric Fisher, Jingili, NT

Dr David Fraser, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr David Green, Rosny Park, TAS

Dr Ron Grenfell, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Graeme Hastwell, CRC for Australian Weed Management, Brisbane, QLD

Dr Robert Henzell, Uraidla, SA

Dr Andrew B Hingston, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Amy Jansen, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Dr Simon Jones, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr David Keith, Wildlife Research Institute, Sydney, NSW

Dr Dylan Korczynskyj, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA

Dr Michelle Leishman, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW

Dr Gary Luck, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW

Dr Gang-Jun Liu, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Michael McCarthy, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC0

Dr Tein McDonald, Woodburn, NSW

Dr Peter McQuillan, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Silke Nebel, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW

Dr Kirsten Parris, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC

Dr S. "Topa" Petit, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA

Dr Emma Pharo, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Pieter Poot, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA

Dr Lynda Prior, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT

Dr Libby Robin, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Jonathan Stark, Fern Tree, TAS

Dr Alan Stewart, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW

Dr Barbara Stewart, Mullumbimby, NSW

Dr Elizabeth Tasker, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Dr Fleur Tiver, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA

Dr Arn Tolsma, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC

Dr Rodney van der Ree, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Dr Steven Ward, Mortdale, NSW

Dr Brendan Wintle, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Mr Keith Breheny, Midway Point, TAS

Mr Christopher M Carr, Armidale, NSW

Mr Oberon Carter, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC

Mr Yung En Chee, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Mr Paul Finn, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD

Mr Garry Germon, Gloucester, NSW

Mr Tim Heard, CSIRO Entomology, Indooroopilly, QLD

Mr John Hibberd, Kestel Reserch Pty Ltd, Wapengo via Bega, NSW

Mr Daniel Hunter, Dhurringile, VIC

Mr Boris Lomov, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW

Mr Michael McBain, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Mr Wieslawa Misiak, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Mr Julian Reid, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT

Mr Paul Rymer, Woolloomooloo, NSW

Mr Matthew Sheehan, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS

Mr Phil Spark, Tamworth, NSW

Mr Garon Staines, Terrigal, NSW

Mr Paul Thomas, Lawson, NSW

Mr Christopher van Buggenum, Thirroul, NSW

Ms Rose Andrew, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Janet Cohn, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Nicole Cranston, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT

Ms Naomi Davis, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Kate Hammill, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Jane Jelbart, University of Western Sydney, Avoca Beach, NSW

Ms Melinda Laidlaw, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD

Ms Deborah Landenberger, University of Newcastle, Elermore Vale, NSW

Ms Samantha Lloyd, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW

Ms Nicky Meeson, Midway Point, TAS

Ms Maggie Nightingale, Alice Springs, NT

Ms Shirley Pipitone, Flynn, ACT

Ms Catherine Pohlman, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD

Ms Frances Quinn, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Ms Sally Radford, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW

Ms Elizabeth Rickwood, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Karen Ross, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Monica Ruibal, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Libby Rumpff, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Justine Shaw, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Ms Andrea White, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Joanna Willmott, Kurrajong, NSW

Ms Jesse McCoullough, Albion Park, NSW

Miss Amanda Nascimento, Port Kembla, NSW

Contact: Professor Tony Norton ph.(03) 9925-3279; fax.(03) 9663-2517

Email: tony.norton@rmit.edu.au

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