IFA/AFG in the News


The Mercury
Eric Abetz; 3 September

TASMANIAN Liberal senator Eric Abetz has said the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements should remove a flawed UTAS paper from its literature review.  Senator Abetz welcomed the Institute of Foresters of Australia’s recent move seeking an apology from the university for publishing a scientific paper in the Fire journal which proved to contain errors.  The paper has since been retracted as authors work to correct the errors….

UTAS apology sought for bushfire paper mistake; 2 September

WIN Television; 1 September

Forestry industry leaders say the retraction of a study arguing logging increases the risk of bushfire should be as widely published as the original claim.
University of Tasmania academics have admitted they got key parts of their study wrong by incorrectly categorising forest types.
(IFA/AFG President Bob Gordon speaking) “And that was only picked up because voluntary forest scientists and academics checked the data when they read the paper thinking this can’t be right, it doesn’t look right.”
Bob Gordon says that the authors have done the right thing by retracting the paper.
“But what it does highlight is that in the rush to get papers out, the correct peer review process does not appear to have been followed because these errors should have been picked up.”

The segment can be viewed on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WINNewsTasmania/posts/3556155831084731

The Guardian: 3 September

Forestry supporters seize on error in study to falsely claim logging doesn’t raise bushfire risk
Politicians and industry use error to dismiss research showing logging can make the state’s forests more flammable

Mirage News: 1 September

Fake bushfire research thrown out by independent journal
In a major blow for activists campaigning against Australia’s sustainably managed native forest industries, a widely disseminated research paper falsely linking the activity to bushfires has been rejected.


Shane Broad MP: 31 August

If you are on Facebook, watch Shane Broad MP (Tasmanian) make a 6-minute speech about the paper and the IFA.

Other items that may be of interest – in case you missed them

Part of the IFA/AFG advocacy strategy is to build strong connections with key politicians on behalf of forest scientists, professionals and forest growers.  It is pleasing that these politicians have come out is support of sound forest science.

Senate support for “Bodgy” bushfire research report apology; 1 September

On Tuesday Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Senator Jonno Duniam tabled a motion in the Senate noting the retraction of a report based on a University of Tasmania research paper which linked bushfire intensity to forest harvesting, condemned the use of “bodgy” science by the Tasmanian Greens and the Bob Brown Foundation and called them to apologise.
The motion passed with the support of the Coalition and the ALP, but not the Greens.

Senator Duniam’s Statement; 29 August 2019

The Australian forest industry deserves an apology from the Bob Brown Foundation (BBF) and the Greens following revelations they’ve been using dodgy research for baseless attacks.
This is a constant pattern of behaviour from the Greens to misrepresent facts to attack the
forestry industry The BBF and Greens Senators were among those who used the now retracted report to claim that forestry makes bushfires worse. The paper that had been relied upon by the Greens to call for an end to native forest logging has been retracted by the publishing journal due to “significant errors”.

Guy Barnett Statement; 30 August

Greens bushfire claims up in smoke
In an embarrassing revelation for the Greens, the UTAS study claiming sustainable forest management increased the intensity of bushfires has been shown to be fundamentally flawed and subsequently retracted.  This withdrawn paper formed the basis of the Greens‘ political attacks on Tasmania’s worldleading, sustainable forest industry. The question is, given the Greens advocate a scientific approach to bushfire management, will they now support the Government’s scientifically backed sustainable forest management practices? The contemporary scientific consensus indicates that native forest harvesting does not exacerbate bushfires. In fact, responsible sustainable forestry management is an important weapon in the fight against bushfires.

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