Thinking Long Term: A Sustainable Future for Tasmania

By Becky Ran

The Australian Broadcast Corporation published a long op-ed today from the Australian Wilderness Society’s Paul Oosting, talking about Gunn’s planned pulp mill in Tasmania. Oosting makes great points, including the fact that preserving the environment is a better long term bet than destroying it.

The consequences of the loss of our carbon-rich forests, full of unique animals, water catchments and wild places is obvious. But what about the lost opportunities for jobs and the economy?

There is greater prosperity in protecting our environment than pulping it. Tasmania should be an innovator and take the global lead in research, management and accounting of our forests, which are protecting us from climate change, providing safe drinking water and clean air to breathe. Not to mention drawing considerable business and visitors to our island state.

RAN has been working for years on stopping Gunn’s destruction of Tasmania’s valuable forests (background here ) But the issues Oosting brings up resonate with all of our campaigns. The short term profits from resource exploitation rarely benefit communities or the environment in the long term – whether in Indonesia, West Virgina or Tasmania.

Now more than ever in this environment of economic anxiety, we need to start thinking long-term.