Senate debates

Tuesday, 1 September 2020


Forestry Industry

4:23 pm

Photo of Jonathon DuniamJonathon Duniam (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries) Share this | | Hansard source

Before moving motion No. 767, I would like to advise that Senators Brockman, Askew, Van, Chandler, McKenzie, Canavan, McMahon, Davey and McDonald would like to have their names added to this motion. I, and also on behalf of Senators Brockman, Askew, Van, Chandler, McKenzie, Canavan, McMahon, Davey and McDonald, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that a report used by the Australian Greens to assert that forestry operations cause bushfires has been retracted and withdrawn after insistence from the academic community;

(b) further notes that the withdrawal of this paper was required because of the number of significant errors and wrong conclusions and that it did not meet the standard for 'high-quality scientific works' as required by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI);

(c) condemns the Australian Greens and the Bob Brown Foundation for consistent use of bodgy science to attempt to back-up their falsehoods about forestry; and

(d) calls on the Bob Brown Foundation and the Australian Greens to apologise to the hardworking men and women of the forestry industry that they use misinformation to demonise.

Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr President, Senator Whish-Wilson seeks leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] This motion is not only rubbish; it's childish and it's disrespectful. Senator Duniam and his government consistently attack, criticise and ignore scientists and cut science funding. The study referred to in this motion is not alone in concluding native forest logging practices increase fire risk. There are other respected studies. This study was withdrawn because of problems with access to data withheld by Forestry Tasmania. The Tasmanian Liberals need to make this data and these fire maps available and let the scientific process take its course, rather than allow science and research to be politicised by Senator Duniam. If the Liberals started listening to scientists like Dr Matthew Webb in Tasmania, whose research highlighted the devastating risk logging presents to threatened species like the swift parrot, the industry might have a chance of ultimately getting FSC approval. Senator Duniam and his government— (Time expired)

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that motion No. 767 be agreed to.