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Monday, June 18, 2018

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International News : Fresh mandate to unlock Tasmanian forests?

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Fresh mandate to unlock Tasmanian forests?

Mandate Tasmania

The Tasmanian Liberals say they won't alter their course on forestry, even after their plan to open more forests to logging failed to pass the Upper House late last week. The Liberals wanted to open 365,000ha of additional forest land to logging for special species from later this year - and to other users from next year. They argued the additional timber was essential to the industry's future. 

However, a majority of MLCs did not buy the Government's argument and the Bill was voted down 7-5. Five independents and Labor's two MLCs voted against the Government. The result has defused a conflict over Tasmanian forests for the time being. Resources Minister Guy Barnett blamed Labor for the Bill's failure and said the Government would not reconsider its stance on forestry. 

"We will seek out a fresh mandate at the next election to unlock these production forests," he said. Mr Barnett would not shoulder any blame for the legislation's failure. "We were elected, we have that mandate, we are trying to implement that mandate, it's being blocked in the Upper House by Labor," he said. Mr Barnett said without access to additional timber Forestry Tasmania would need AU$100 million in subsidies over the next four years or hundreds of jobs would be lost. 

Environmentalists and the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania had lobbied against the forestry Bill. Environmentalists said the expanded logging areas, which had been set aside under the Tasmanian forest peace deal, contained high-conservation forests. FIAT said the plan would threaten the industry's future by leading to a return of forest wars. None of FIAT's members wanted access to the timber.

Source: Friday Offcuts

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