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Labor backs forest industry as Liberal plan lies in tatters

  • Labor calls for certainty and stability  
  • Policy backs future of industry  
  • Liberals’ flawed policy has no support from industry

Labor has released its position on Forestry, which will provide certainty and stability for the Tasmanian forestry industry.

Shadow Resources Minister David Llewellyn said that Labor’s plan called for Government to:

  • Allow private sector operators to determine whether they can harvest the 25 per cent of coupes Forestry Tasmania believes are “uncommercial”.
  • Conduct a full audit of the 356,000ha of Future Potential Production Forest land to determine the resource mix and location of harvestable timber
  • Commence a detailed study into which harvesters, processors and customers would take wood from Future Potential Production Forest land.
  • Continue industry assistance for cable harvesting beyond the next financial year.

Mr Llewellyn added that if through these processes there is a demonstrated demand for timber from Future Potential Production Forest it should be accessed through existing legislative land swap provisions.

“Labor is a strong supporter of the forest industry,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“Labor wants bipartisanship on forest policy and will be guided by the opinions of industry.

“But in our consultations it has become clear that many fear the Liberal Government’s approach will lead to a return to forest conflict.

“Labor is committed to the pursuit of Forest Stewardship Council certification for forests managed by Forestry Tasmania in order to facilitate market access and sustainable growth for the industry.

“Residues are the key to Forestry Tasmania’s profitability.

“We have outlined a way forward for Government and industry that would provide certainty for our local industry.

“At the same time the Liberal Government persists with a friendless forest policy that will cost jobs, which has no industry support.”

“None of my members believe this (Liberal policy) is a good idea” – Forest Industry Association of Tasmania (FIAT) Chief Executive Terry Edwards

“FIAT does not support the Hodgman plan, clearly the Minister for Forests needs to sit up and take notice and look at adopting Labor’s proposal,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“Labor’s plan would give a true assessment of which forests are high conservation and which can be harvested without jeopardising Forest Stewardship Classification (FSC).

“Mr Barnett and the Hodgman Government are clearly at odds with the industry, which does not support the current legislation.

“They must see the error of their ways and adopt Labor’s policy before they completely undermine the future of the forest industry.”

Read Labor’s policy here: http://taslabor.com/labors-position-forestry/