Forestry Minister Tony Burke and Premier Bartlett may be rejoicing that Gunns has a joint venture partner, the Swedish company Sodra, for Tasmania's pulp mill. It would be "good" for jobs and for the Tasmanian economy!
Swedish company Södra stated that it would only be involved in a pulp mill in Australia if it was Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, totally chlorine-free (TCF) and 100% plantation-based.
So-called "sustainable" forestry has perpetuated the myth that primary and old growth forests can and should be harvested using "Sustainable Forest Management" (SFM) techniques.
However, forestry has transformed most of Sweden’s forests into plantations and young forests. Sweden's forestry corporations are quickly turning a once a beautiful land of old-growth forests full of life and diversity into clearcuts. Nearly all Sweden's virgin forests are gone. What is left is the old growth forests, and those are being erased now.
Over 1,800 animal and plant species in the Swedish forests are red-listed and many of them are dependent on old trees, dead wood and old-growth forests deciduous trees to survive. This is despite Sweden's example of "good" and "sustainable" forestry industries!
Gunns will still have to pass the final stage of an assessment by the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, before the mill can operate, but is allowed to begin construction of the project!
Could this be the price that Tasmanians, and Australians, are willing to pay for what is "good" for jobs and the economy?