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Peace deal debate in parliament but where is Giddings

The Tasmanian Opposition is set to vote against the Government’s legislation to dismantle the forest peace deal. Sources: The Examiner, 7 News

Labor Leader Bryan Green is the first Opposition MP to speak on the bill in State Parliament. His party’s position has been unclear since it lost the March state election.

Mr Green told parliament there was too much uncertainty over wood supply and the legislation to reclassify 400,000 hectares of forest for logging would mean conflict was likely.

He said the Government did not have a mandate to enact the bill in its current form.

“The bill currently has clearly been rushed and contains many unanswered questions,” he said.

“Labor wants a bipartisan policy on forestry, but we must be sure the legislation is an industry fix and not a political fix.”

The Liberals have the numbers to pass the bill in the Lower House.

The forestry peace deal was stuck after four years of negotiations between environmentalists and the industry.

It aimed to end decades of conflict in the forests.

Former Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings is out of the country and will miss a crucial week in State Parliament.

Ms Giddings attended a women’s leadership conference in Germany that wrapped up on Friday, but extended her trip.

Opposition Leader Bryan Green has defended her absence, which leaves Labor with six members.