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Talks commence on the conflict over forests in Tasmania

The National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI) CEO, Allan Hansard, has released a statement on behalf of NAFI and confirmed that in any discussions about the future of Tasmania’s forest industries they will work to ensure the views of all sectors of the forest industry in Tasmania are heard and understood.

The forest industry in Tasmania is a diverse industry, including forest managers, harvesting and transport contractors, large and small wood processors and service industries. It is an industry that is strongly integrated into the local, national and global economies and directly supports many local communities in Tasmania. It is an industry that is sustainable, produces renewable products, and has a major contribution to make in ensuring Australia moves to a low carbon emissions future.

At this stage it is far too early to predict the outcomes of the discussions, if any, but NAFI will engage in these talks in good faith and will work to ensure the significant role that the forest industry can play in Tasmania’ s economic, social and environmental future is realised Mr Hansard said today.

Joint Statement

Representatives from forest and forest products industry bodies and environment groups have commenced informal preliminary discussions having agreed to explore options for the possible development and delivery of a durable and sustainable resolution to the conflict over forests in Tasmania.

Representatives have agreed on the need for a solution that is acceptable to and broadens out to involve the whole Tasmanian community, and has the support of both State and Federal governments.

The organisations have collectively met with the Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, and the Tasmanian government has indicated that it will provide the support required to allow the organisations involved the time and space needed to explore whether or not agreement is possible.

The representatives acknowledge that whilst there is significant good will, finding a solution to a conflict that has divided Tasmania for decades will not be easy, and will take time.

The organisations involved in preliminary discussions include Timber Communities Australia, the National Association of Forest Industries, the CFMEU, Environment Tasmania, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation.

All organisations will continue to seek local input from their respective constituencies and the broader Tasmanian community as the discussions progress.