Tony Abbott and his state counterparts are determined to rip up the protection of Tasmania's lush rainforests, and open them up to logging. Now, two potential buyers -- Harvey Norman and Freedom Furniture -- are refusing to tell us whether they’ll purchase ancient Tasmanian timber if Abbott gets his way.
If the Tasmanian Liberal government succeeds, half a million hectares of rainforest could be logged. Tasmanian wood used in household furniture could be sourced from 500-year old forests that should be in national parks.
So SumOfUs has asked Australia’s biggest retailers a simple question: will they commit not to buy wood from these precious forests? Several have already contacted us and made clear they support protecting forests. But companies like Harvey Norman and Freedom Furniture are still refusing to come clean. They don’t want customers to know their policies on buying wood from Tassie’s forests.
Can you tell Harvey Norman and Freedom to come clean to consumers, and let us know whether they’ll buy wood from Tasmania’s ancient forests?
SumOfUs is committed to working constructively with customers of Tasmanian timber products to ensure that the promise of a sustainable future can be delivered. That’s why we’ve already contacted every major Australian retailer to let them know the issues and ask where they stand.
As consumers, we deserve to know whether the furniture we buy is delivering stable jobs and environmental protection, or whether it is made from a 500 year old rainforest tree that should be in a National Park. But that’s just what Harvey Norman and Freedom won’t tell us.
The struggle to protect Tasmania's forests has been a long one. A 30-year war between loggers and environmentalists over Australia's most spectacular forests was finally concluded in 2012 with the landmark Tasmanian Forest Agreement -- a peace deal between industry, unions and environmentalists to protect vast swathes of forest and put the industry on a sustainable footing.
But now the new Tasmanian Liberal government, with support from Tony Abbott's federal team, are determined to rip up that agreement and open the forests back up for unrestricted logging. Some of Tasmania's most precious forests will soon be on the chopping block again if they get their way.
That's why it's crucial we know where companies stand -- and why we need Harvey Norman and Freedom to come clean. Australian consumers deserve to know whether products they buy could be made of ancient Tasmanian forests that should be protected.