Sue Neales in The Mercury
More environment/community groups go public against forest deal mess
In recent times we have seen environment and community leaders like Richard Flanagan, Peter Cundall and Lucy landon Lane, Kim Booth Dr Alison Bleaney, Bob McMahon, Peter Whish Wilson, Steve Biddulph, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Huon Valley Environment Centre, Christine Milne, Bob Brown and now Geoffrey Cousins expressing serious concerns about the current trajectory of the increasingly fraught Tasmanian Forests Peace Deal and in particular the involvement of the Wilderness Society. As a member of the Tamar Valley based anti-pulp mill group Friends of the Tamar Valley i can also say that there is unanimous lack of support for the SOP's as they currently stand and outrage at some of the weaselly public language and the blatant disloyalty by The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania in relation to the negotiations. The Tasmania media have also savaged the conduct of the two peak environment groups in relation to the forests deal.
The furtherment of conservation in Tasmania will not be served if Pulp Mill warfare is entrenched, nor will it be served if these two conservation organisations are destroyed through member backlash over an unpopular deal to trade the Tamar Valley for HCV's.
Its time for The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania to walk away from a forests deal that has become toxic to their organisations and untenable in terms of the wider Tasmanian community.