The question is being asked … is there REALLY peace in the Tasmania Forestry Wars? A marathon 13-hour sitting of Tasmania’s Lower House passed a Bill aimed at securing peace that now needs to be ratified by the Upper House which will be called in December to debate the Bill. Source: Timberbiz
The bill aims to protect half a million hectares of forest from logging and shrinks the native forest logging industry.
Greens leader Nick McKim says his party “proudly” supported the move with Labor.
Opposition Leader Will Hodgman warned there would be no peace and called for an election saying Labor sold out to the Greens.
Former Greens leader Bob Brown said he would support the Tasmanian Greens in their support of the deal, but maintained that any deal did not exclude people’s democratic right to protest, and the Huon Valley Environment Centre said it was not bound by the peace deal and offered no guarantees it would stop campaigning.
Spokeswoman Jenny Weber wants an immediate moratorium on logging and vowed to join with Still Wild, Still Threatened to continue protests.
TFCA CEO Ed Vincent said the agreement created a new opportunity for Tasmania and its renowned forest industry.
“It has the potential to change the way which Tasmania and particularly Tasmanian forest based businesses are viewed by financiers and investors.
“While there is considerable and understandable apprehension about the agreement, the final document has the potential to lead to a cessation of the community-dividing protest action which has dogged our industry for over 30 years.”
Vincent said that for most of that time contractors had borne the brunt of disruption from protests.
Coalition Forestry spokesman Richard Colbeck said there were many other parties that significantly impacted by “this sham process, including agriculture, mining, tourism, and furniture manufacture, and they have had absolutely no say”.
“To replace the volumes lost with plantation timber will take decades and also approximately 100,000ha of land, most likely agricultural land, of which there is about 650,000ha in the State,” he said.
“Not only will the greens campaign against the conversion of farm land to plantation, they will continue to campaign against the native forest sector,” Senator Colbeck said. “That is why Bob Brown and Peg Putt have taken up more senior positions in Markets for Change, which opposes all native forest harvesting.”