Is Tony Abbott about to give WA old growth forests the chop?

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Tony Abbott has deployed his old growth forest logging advocate to Perth today, Federal Labor has learned. 

After saying this week that Australia has “too much locked up forest” in our national parks, Mr Abbott has deployed his Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck to Perth. Senator Colbeck is a key advocate for removing World Heritage protection for some parts of Tasmanian forests.

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Senator Louise Pratt, warned Senator Colbeck that his ideas are not welcome in Western Australia. 

"Western Australia  was the first state to move to protect our old-growth forests. I am proud of this Labor legacy and Labor's environmental values,” Senator Pratt said. 

"Western Australians and tourists alike love heading down south to enjoy this amazingly pristine part of Australia. We must defend this legacy from the attacks of Senator Colbeck and Tony Abbott.

"I hope Senator Colbeck has bought a return plane ticket, as his ideas are not welcome here. 

"We all know that Senator Colbeck wants to hack into our forests. Worst of all, Senator Colbeck ‘s ideas actually risks jobs and the development of plantation and sustainable forestry industries, by tarnishing as unsustainable the reputation of Australian timber products overseas.

"Climate change and the resulting decline in rainfall in our South West means that the regeneration of our logged forests is not what it once was. Our precious South West Forests simply can’t sustain the implementation of Senator Colbeck ’s ideas.

"This Senate election gives WA a chance to send a message to Tony Abbott that Senator Colbeck’s ideas are not welcome here.  

"We don’t want the environmental gains of the Gallop Government to be wound back by Senator Colbeck and the ideologically motivated anti-environment Abbott Government.”