09 April 2014
Tasmanian forests set for logging as Liberals push ahead with repeal
The Hobart government says logging will revive 'jobs and communities'
State government unveils plan to tear up historic deal between industry and greens protecting 400,000 hectares of forest.
The state government has unveiled its plans for undoing the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement - a deal reached in 2011 by industry groups and conservationists.
About 400,000 hectares of forest set aside in the agreement as potential reserves will be reclassified as "future potential production forest".
However, there will be no logging in these zones for at least six years as the timber industry is rebuilt.
Paul Harriss, resources minister in Will Hodgman's Liberal cabinet, said the government was acting on the overwhelming mandate it had received at last month's election.
"We opposed the forest deal because it was based on politics not science, which destroyed jobs and regional communities, and which locked away forever future productive forest,"
he said on Tuesday.
"This had the effect of denying future generations of Tasmanians the use of this productive and renewable resource, simply because of the politics and short-term market conditions of the day."
The government's planned changes also include that no further reservations of forest be made without a two-thirds majority support of both houses of the state parliament.
Opposition leader Bryan Green said the move would plunge the forest industry into years of uncertainty and conflict.
"If you voted Liberal thinking it would provide stability and certainty to the forest industry, you will be let down,"