Suspension of FSC certification for Burnie woodchip mill exposes risks of continued native forest logging.

Pentarch, operator of the Massey-Greene woodchip mill in Burnie, has had its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification suspended after failing a compliance audit by the certification body. The failures related to the company allowing mixing of FSC-certified plantation woodchips with non-qualifying woodchips from logged native forests. The non-compliances detailed in the audit report relate to the company’s Burnie and Eden operations.

“FSC suspension shows the folly of the ongoing logging of native forests sanctioned by the Tasmanian Government. It’s not ok to ignore international pressure from customers who do not want to be associated with the biodiversity destroying and carbon-emitting native forest logging sector,” said BBF takayna / Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.

“Eighty-eight per cent of Australia’s wood product already comes from plantations, with the Victorian and Western Australian Governments committing to ending native forest logging. Yet here in Tasmania, government policies are sandbagging the ever-diminishing and heavily subsidised native forest sector and placing these plantation markets at risk.”

”This attempt by Pentarch to walk both sides of the street has blown up in their face, and will undoubtedly cost them customers in the international markets. Plantation-based jobs, that were backed by FSC certification, are now at risk. Pentarch’s management and Minister Felix Ellis must be accountable and tell these workers why their jobs are less important than taxpayer subsidised native forest logging jobs.”

Bob Brown Foundation continues to call for an end to native forest logging. Forestry Tasmania, trading as Sustainable Timbers Tasmania, has twice failed to achieve FSC certification due to contentious native forest logging problems, including destruction of habitat for critically endangered Swift Parrots.

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