Today a delegation from north east Tasmania community group Blue Derby Wild presented a 34,140 strong public petition to be tabled to the Tasmanian Parliament to protect the native forests of Tasmania, with urgent need to halt logging in the Krushka’s forests that hold the Blue Derby mountain bike trails of the same name.
We are handing this massive public petition to be tabled at a critical time for the forests of our area, and brand Blue Derby, as logging is set to expand with government logging agency Sustainable Timber Tasmania declaring they will start logging a second forest area in Krushka’s from next week. This means there will be two active logging coupes on the Krushka’s MTB trail destroying our best local assets in tackling climate change, biodiversity loss and undercutting our nature based tourism sector. The impact on our community and tourism businesses when you have the sights and sounds of logging echoing through the valley cannot be understated, nor the dangerous log trucks thundering along back roads where MTB shuttles transport people.
The Tasmanian government promotes our state as a nature based tourism mecca, and for people to come down and go behind the scenery. When people come to Derby and go behind the scenery and logging buffer zones they are experiencing logging that is destroying our last stands of intact Gondwana native forests, and they are shocked and disturbed. From Krushka’s, Atlas, Mutual Valley through to the Blue Tier, logging these forests is logging our natural heritage, brand Blue Derby and ability to grow our increasingly successful nature based tourism sector.
This petition is a voice for more than 34,140 people who understand our forests are worth more standing and should not be logged for some government set annual logging quota that has no market, and for 80% woodchips as STT’s own website states. This is in combination with more than 200 nature based tourism and adventure businesses who have written to the Premier calling on him to protect the native forests of Tasmania for climate action and to live up to the T21 vision and protect Brand Tasmania which is being trashed as we log our natural assets.
The Premier has repeatedly refused to meet with us, and local business operators to discuss the impact logging of our forests is having on our community, local environment and the brand of Blue Derby. The Premier is the Minister for Climate Change and Tourism, and frankly he is acting against the interests of both these portfolios, and is acting as the Minister FOR native forest logging.