Pentarch Executive Director and Australian Forest Products Association Chairman Steve Dadd has clarified statements attributed to him in an Australian Associated Press media release issued last week.

The release quoted anti native forestry campaigner and advertising executive Geoff Cousins who made the false claim that Pentarch “expressed the desire for an orderly transition away from native forest logging”.

“I made no such statement about a transition out of native forestry,” Mr Dadd said.

“We do not support any form of transition away from native forest harvesting.”

Mr Dadd also clarified other statements made in the media release.

“I did indeed meet with Mr Cousins in good faith to hear his views and invite him to visit our operations and unfortunately found him unwilling to engage on the many benefits of native forestry or acknowledge scientific evidence,” he said.

“He is either denying the irrefutable science that native forestry has little impact on koala populations or is ignorant of the facts which are clearly stated on the Natural Resource Commission website.

“To scurrilously compare native forestry to sweatshops is clever spin from an experienced advertising executive to further corrupt public opinion about the sustainable harvesting and regrowing of hardwood from just 1% of our forests.

“Mr Cousins does not appear to recognise the benefits of carbon stored in hardwood products or the sequestration of carbon in regrowing forests where wildlife thrives.

“He refuses to acknowledge the $1.1billion benefit the industry brings to the State of NSW or the 8900 families directly supported by the industry.

“So, it’s difficult to understand how Mr Cousins can consider himself to have a balanced view on native forestry and we hope the NSW Government sees his opinions for what they are.

“We accept the commitment to establishing a Great Koala National Park and are working with the NSW Government to ensure it achieves both a sustainable future for our business, the people and communities who rely on us and maximises benefits for the climate and koalas.

“We are also hopeful that native forestry is recognised for its many scientifically proven benefits for the environment, as expressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“We should accept our global responsibility in supplying ethically and fully certified hardwood rather than rely on imports from countries which do not have in place the same checks and balances as we do here.”