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Tasmanian government’s deal secures its future but not of native forestry

Eric Abetz

Last week Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff signed an agreement with three Jacqui Lambie Network MPs, Miriam Beswick (Braddon), Andrew Jenner (Lyons), and Rebekah Pentland (Bass) which indicates that there will be stability for the timber industry. Source: Timberbiz

However, support is not guaranteed as the three members have a clause in the agreement that allows them to give 24 hours’ notice if they intend to vote against the government.

A discussion paper suggests that they do not agree with expanding native forest logging, but they do support more plantation timber.

The JLN MPs said they would provide certainty to the Liberals by voting against all censure and no confidence motions except in cases of malfeasance or corruption and agreed to pass the government’s budget and money bills unamended.

The three new MPs are not career politicians and now find themselves holding the balance of power in a hung parliament.

The agreement will be reviewed after 12 months.

The Rockliff Liberal Cabinet includes:

  • Jeremy Rockliff: Premier, Tourism and Hospitality, Trade and Major Investment
  • Eric Abetz: Business, Industry and Resources, Transport, Leader of the House
  • Nick Duigan: Energy and Renewables, Parks and Environment
  • Jane Howlett: Primary Industries and Water, Racing

Eric Abetz served as the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation in the Howard Government between 2006 and 2007 and has been named Industry and Resources Minister overseeing Tasmanian forestry.

As TFPA Chief Executive Officer Nick Steel pointed out Mr Abetz spent many years in the Federal Parliament representing Tasmania’s forestry industry on the national stage.

He has shown he’s a strong supporter of the important and sustainable work of the industry and the 5,500 Tasmanians employed by it.

The organisational structure of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania includes:

  • Secretary Jason Jacobi
  • Primary industries and Water Deirdre Wilson
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Water Catherine Murdoch
  • Forest Policy Tom Byrne

The organisation structure diagram can be downloaded here.