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Symetrics Report - The Impact of a Cessation and Non Replacement of Harvesting in Tasmanian Forests

1 Jan 1970

Scenario Analysis: “The Cessation and Non Replacement of harvesting in Tasmanian Native Forests”
Part I – Oldgrowth Forests

The scenario, while inconsistent with the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA), is one that FIAT considers a potential political and/or legal threat to the continuance of the current agreement and associated policies.
Conversion to smaller logs either from plantation or shorter rotation of native forest will result in a transition of the industry from a position as a supplier of a mix of high quality and commodity timber products to that of primarily a commodity supplier; this market positioning threatens viability of the industry.

The implementation of a proposal to cease harvesting RFA oldgrowth coupes will result in:
• An estimated 40% reduction (121,000 m3) in the volume of logs sourced from State Forest passing through the sawn timber processing sector and when combined with logs sourced from private land it leads to a reduction in overall log supply by approximately 22%. The consequence is a decline (fall?) in the supply of the most productive logs for the sawn timber sector and of highly valued select grade timber and a reduction in quality of the larger sawn sections;
• Reduced productivity at each step in the timber production value chain and an increase of 27.5% in the total cost of producing a cubic metre of dressed timber;
• Loss of Tasmania’s icon timbers and reduced final product quality, loss of markets and value of final sales (31%), the effect of which is to move the milling businesses into an operational loss situation;
• Loss of profitability in sawmilling businesses, leading to closures in mills, harvesting and transport operations
• An estimated 2,080 direct and indirect job losses;
• Reduce the capacity of Forestry Tasmania to generate sufficient revenue to manage the State Forest resource. 
• Creation of a business environment that will not support processors who are unable to adapt to the scenarioand threatens further capital investment in forestry and timber processing;

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