Media Release: Forestry Burn-Offs Continue to Threaten Health and Well-Being: Communities, Animals and Plant Life Being Threatened by Forestry Burn-Offs

Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP
Greens Health spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today said that the Parliament needs to commission an independent study into the total social, environmental and economic costs of forestry burns, as they continue to emit pollutants into the air causing distress to the many Tasmanians suffering from respiratory complaints, and also impacting on Tasmania’s clean, green and clever brand.

Greens Health spokesperson Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP burn-off practice as outdated, old-school and not in line with appropriate practice today, especially when it continues to put thousands of Tasmanians with respiratory complaints in distressing situations. These airborne emissions impact disproportionately on children.

“Once again Tasmania’s beautiful autumn days are blighted by the dense smoke plumes blocking out the sun and choking our air,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“This is an unacceptable situation. It compromises Tasmanians’ health, our environment, and is an insult to common-sense.”

“The Greens are calling for the Minister to commission independent social, environmental and economic impact study of these burns.”

“Tasmania’s tourism industry also has reason for concern over this due to the plumes of smoke that choke up the air sheds and appear as a horrible blight on the Tasmanian Landscape.”

“We also want to see an end to these burns, and are calling on the Minister to consult with the community to establish a date by which this polluting practice will end once and for all.”

“It is also concerning at the impact these burns have on Tasmania’s biodiversity and threatened species such as the Tasmanian Devil, burrowing and freshwater crayfish, and a myriad of other plant and animal species.”

“The annual so-called forest regeneration burns have just commenced with Forestry Tasmania alone intends to conduct 300 coupe burns over five districts, and this will emit copious amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change, not to mention the risk this poses for the many Tasmanians who suffer from respiratory complaints such as Asthma,” Mr O’Halloran said.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011