Special species timber group Living Wood Tasmania launched

In August 7, 2017

The specialty timbers sector has a new voice in the form of Living Wood Tasmania, but The Wilderness Society says the group is nothing more than a “government PR campaign”.

Launched in Hobart on Monday, the burgeoning LWT, which has been supported via a grant from the state government, will endeavour to address public “misinformation” around the special species sector.

The group’s online presence is its main feature, with its website serving as an information hub for anyone curious about the sector.

It was the special species sector that most notably supported the government’s forestry legislation, which sought to open up 356,000 hectares of protected Tasmanian forest to logging.

The bill was defeated in the upper house in June.

Tasmanian Special Timbers Alliance president Andrew Denman is also the spokesman for LWT.

“[LWT] is about giving our sector more of a public voice and making [the] community and markets aware of what our sector is about,” he said.

Mr Denman said the group would promote sustainability and cultural heritage values, which, he said, were key components of the sector.

Furniture maker Craig Howard, who has been working in the industry for 37 years, said the special species sector sometimes got lost in the argy-bargy of the forestry debate.

Earlier in July, Resources Minister Guy Barnett released for public consultation the draft Special Species Management Plan.

The plan’s aim is to lay the foundations for future access to special species timber in Tasmania.

Mr Barnett welcomed the formation of LWT.

“The government views the special species timber sector as critical both for Tasmania’s brand and for jobs and employment throughout the state and we have strongly supported the sector to ensure it has a long-term future,” he said.

But Wilderness Society campaign manager Vica Bayley said the launch of LWT was “superficial” and a “government PR campaign”.

“In the context of the government’s proposal to log old growth forests inside Tasmania’s reserve estate, this looks like a pretty superficial branding exercise to try to head off conflict and marketplace concern,” he said.

Special species timber group Living Wood Tasmania launched by Robert Inglis.  Available from < http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/4824210/living-wood-launched/>      [31 Jul 2017, 5:30 p.m.] Photo:  Articles Source

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