Simon Bridges misleads the House | The Jackal

21 Aug 2013

Simon Bridges misleads the House

During question time yesterday, the Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues, Simon Bridges, mislead the House of Representatives:

Moana Mackey : Is he concerned that a recently released section 89 report shows a huge increase in deforestation and foresters exiting the emissions trading scheme in droves over the last year, which will make achieving even his very modest target difficult; if so, what is he planning to do about it?

Simon Bridges : No, I am not concerned. The fact of the matter is that Moana Mackey plainly has her facts wrong again. More trees have been planted than cut down since National has been in Government. Although 26,000 hectares of forest have been cut down, under our Government 42,700 hectares have been replanted. The fact of the matter is that—I know that, again, Moana Mackey does not get this—foresters plant, they cut down, and they replant again, and under this Government they have replanted more than they have cut down.

Which is completely untrue! Since the National government gained power, the number of hectares clear felled outnumbers the hectares replanted by more than ten to one. Here's a simple graph from the MPI's forestry facts and figures pamphlet (PDF) to illustrate the problem:

As you can see, only 12,200 hectares were planted between Dec 2008 and Dec 2010 while 128,600 hectares were clear felled between March 2009 and March 2011. There has been no increase in investment into planting more trees since those figures were released, which makes Simon Bridges a big fat liar!