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Government facing up to challenges facing forest industry
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After meeting woodchip buyers in Singapore this morning the Deputy Premier Bryan Green said the facts were irrefutable over the challenges facing Tasmania’s forest industry.
“Will Hodgman (Tasmanian Leader of the Opposition) was in the same meetings I was and heard as I did the seriousness of immediate problems we face supplying international markets,” Green said.
“It is clear that if we don’t act to put Tasmania’s forest industry on a secure footing now there will be no industry in the medium to long term.
“A do nothing approach to the forest industry as it stands now is not an option for those businesses suffering as a result of market changes.
“I made it clear at meetings today that the Government will face up to these issues in order to provide certainty for the future.
“What is happening in the market is being made even harder by the high Australian dollar and our distance from markets.
“Given the changing face of forestry in Tasmania with, for instance, Gunns only using plantation wood, it is vitally important that we work towards outcomes through the IGA that give certainty of supply to the broader industry long into the future.
“The Government is endeavouring to reach an agreement through the IGA that supports family-owned sawsmills and the veneer industry.
“We look forward to the outcome of the independent verification process and won’t be playing politics like the Liberals because we will take a responsible approach to moving Tasmania and our forest industry forward,” Green said.