By Tim Thorne, with John Biggs, Max Bound, Stuart Godfrey, Austra Maddox. For Now We The People Tas.
Reproduced from Tasmanian Times
Although at the time of writing we have no clear idea as to who will form the next Australian Government, it is certain from the results of the 21 August election that there is a growing recognition of the need for important changes in policy directions.
In conditions of climate change, addressing the issues of economic, social and ecological sustainability requires transparency in government and long-term visions for the future. Open discussions, democratic procedures, social inclusion and economic equity, as we develop new ways to live with our physical environment, need to be both real and important in the new directions that we seek to pursue.
It is clear that many Tasmanians who are concerned about environmental, social and economic matters want an open and inclusive discussion of the issues surrounding the production of paper pulp from our forests, both native and plantation.
Both before and since the call on Tasmanian Times (July 1) by Dr David Obendorf for such a discussion(1), there have been a number of articles written on this subject.
This paper notes some previous contributions and suggests possible ways to involve more people in working to end the widely perceived corruption in forestry. It advocates open discussion of the issues rather than talks that are, as advocated by Minister Bryan Green, “out of the public spotlight.” We hope to start such a discussion and to go beyond discussion to action in the interests of a more sustainable, healthier, more prosperous and more genuinely democratic Tasmania.