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UNESCO confused by Abbott government’s pro-logging zealotry – Greens

Media Release
Christine Milne 5 Feb 2014

Responding to reports that UNESCO considers the Abbott government's request for a boundary change to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area "unprecedented" and "exceptional", Greens Leader Christine Milne says the attack is bringing international shame to Australia.

"It's never been clearer that the pro-logging zealotry on display from Tony Abbott and Eric Abetz is embarrassing Australia," Senator Milne said.

"UNESCO has now described the push to withdraw 74,000 hectares of forest from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area as ‘unprecedented' and ‘exceptional'. They are obviously confused as to why the government would seek to wind back such well-justified protections.

"If the area in question is as badly damaged as the government claims, the Greens agree with Associate Professor Peter Valentine of James Cook University, that Mr Abbott should explain how this has been allowed to happen.

"Under the World Heritage convention, rehabilitation is what required, not delisting.

"Next week the Greens will move a motion to condemn the Abbott government for its threat to these ancient forests. We will send a clear message to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that Tasmanians and Australians do not back the government's pro-logging ideology."

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