SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK, Senator for Tasmania, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science
The Gillard Government needs to take a very close look at the economic impact of the agreement released this week by the Tasmanian forest talks negotiator.
“The impact of this agreement is to effectively halve the size of Tasmania’s forestry industry and this will have consequences for more than just sawmills and contractors,” Coalition Forestry spokesman Richard Colbeck said.
“It will have the same halving impact on everyone associated with the sector – equipment, maintenance, finance, accounting and any other services. None of these businesses have been represented in the talks.
“The forest industry contributes $1.6 billion to the Tasmanian economy every year. This deal will effectively wipe a whopping $800 million off Tasmania’s GDP at a time we can least afford it.
“This deal also places huge question marks over some of Tasmania’s most highly prospective mineral resources, with ENGO demands that their claimed HCV zones be placed immediately into National Parks.
“There has been no consideration given to the impact this deal will have on the mining industry – or perhaps crippling the mining industry was another goal of the ENGOs through this process.
“There is little wonder that we are again hearing concerns about sovereign risk in Australia, particularly in Tasmania,” Senator Colbeck said.
Media Contact: Deborah Cole (03) 6424 5960 or 0438 387 436