Forests deal of doubts

IT’S the forestry peace deal that emerged when “there was no plan B” – but no one is celebrating as uncertainty remains.
Nanjing Night Net

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Late last night the Greens and Labor were about to pass historic legislation that will underpin a deal to add more than half a million hectares of forest to the state’s parks and reserves, and guarantee wood supplies albeit for a smaller industry.

That will mean further job losses, but no one has detailed how many or where.

Timber processor Ta Ann said it was not yet in a position to comment on the impact, but supports the signing.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke wants to meet signatories next week to be briefed so the level of ongoing Commonwealth support can be determined.

And lobbying of independent MLCs, who have the power to stop the deal from being implemented, has already begun.

With only Liberal MHAs opposing the bill, its passage was assured in the House of Assembly no matter how long debate stretched last night – with 16 amendments from Deputy Premier Bryan Green alone.

Both industry and environment signatories were unhappy about compromises made in recent days to close a deal that only weeks ago was described as “dead”.

Terry Edwards, of the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania, and Vica Bayley, of The Wilderness Society, yesterday.

Unionist Jane Calvert, who is credited with salvaging an outcome, said it was the absence of a plan B that convinced everyone to try again.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.