Timber users fear Tarkine lockup
THE specialty timbers sector would be devastated by a World Heritage listing of the Tarkine area, Tasmanian Special Timbers Alliance spokesman Andrew Denman says.
Mr Denman was speaking in the wake of the international adventure clothing firm Patagonia teaming up with the Bob Brown Foundation to seek a national park and World Heritage nomination for the Tarkine.
He said the $70 million sector which uses blackwood, celery top pine, myrtle and eucalypt, employed 2500 people full-time and 8000 on a part-time and hobby basis.
“The last areas where specialty timbers grow in the state are in the North-West,” Mr Denman said.
“We lost all other southern areas as part of the forest peace deal in 2013. So a lockup of the Tarkine would destroy the specialty timbers sector.”
Mr Denman said the biennial Wooden Boat Festival was based around specialty timbers and was worth $30 million to the state. He said the sector needed about 12,500 cubic metres of wood a year to continue.
“We would be shut down overnight if the Tarkine campaign was successful,” he said.
Patagonia and the Bob Brown Foundation want the 100,000ha Tarkine to be made a national park and be off limits to logging and mining.
A petition has started on Patagonia’s website and a documentary about the campaign to save the Tarkine is being screened around Australia and has gone live on Facebook.
Patagonia’s global vicepresident of public engagement Rick Ridgeway was in Hobart this week to support the campaign, and to attend a special screening of the film at the State Cinema last night.
Mr Denman said aspects of the film were misleading.
He said the Tarkine campaign had been rejected by voters at the March state election.