Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics

Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation".

"The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered crevices around the Federated Farmers community" he told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

There are concerns among the rural sector that Mr Jones' One Billion Trees planting programme would encourage the sale of productive sheep and beef land over to forestry.

"There is no money that our government has dedicated or given to carbon forest investors," the Minister said.

"The money that we have given is dedicated to planting, with farmers, native trees and where they want, with regional council planting poplars and some pine trees - but they are a mix of farming forestry".

Mr Jones also suggested it wasn't up to the Coalition Government to stop this practice, and that farmers themselves were occasionally selling their land to "Queen Street lawyers who are investing in these carbon spends".

"The bottom line is, we're not going to undermine the right of cockies to sell their land".

"I say to the cockies - you guys are the ones selling the land".

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