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Leaked email won’t endanger forestry peace
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A timber industry negotiator believes the historic Tasmanian forest peace talks with green groups are only continuing largely because neither side "wants to be the first to walk". This was the message in an email from Timber Communities Australia chief executive Jim Adams to his branch presidents, obtained by The Australian newspaper, which suggests there is little hope of a deal from the talks. Sources: The Australian, ABC News
"At this stage it is difficult to tell if the various parties have remained engaged because they want an agreement or because neither wants to be the first to walk," Mr Adams's email said.
Barring any 11th-hour breakthrough, "or breakdown" by one side or the other, the talks to find an agreement to end 35 years of warring over Tasmania's forests would collapse, he wrote.
The leaked email follows the announcement that peak timber and conservation groups have failed to reach an agreed position after more than two years of negotiation.
Both sides are continuing to talk ahead of a mediation meeting to be presided over by federal Environment Minister Tony Burke and Deputy Premier Bryan Green tomorrow.
Mr Adams's email said that there was still no agreement on the "core issues" including wood supply and new forest reserves and that he sent the email to members to keep them abreast of the negotiations, but says he is still committed to the peace process.
"My mandate from my membership is to continue to engage, to continue to do the things that we have done through this process and that is focus on the durability issues and getting the correct balance of outcome in relation to supply and conservation," he said.
Meanwhile the Tasmanian State Opposition is hosting another public forum on the future of the forestry sector, this time in a region that has been hit hard by the industry downturn.
It has organised a six-member panel to front the forum at Scottsdale including leader Will Hodgman, the Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis and Independent MLC Ruth Forrest.