The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association says the massive amendments and insertions that the Government announced today to the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Bill constitute a farce and have reinforced the importance of the review function of the Legislative Council.

“These significant changes demonstrate the deficiencies in the Bill rushed through the House of Assembly in December,” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said today.

“Organisations like ours have spent the last month getting legal opinions and gathering expert advice in order to meet the Legislative Council select committee’s deadline for submissions; and to prepare to be able to speak to those submissions at the hearings this week.

“Suddenly today the Government reveals a welter of amendments and apparently inadequate maps to identify the land that is proposed for reserves. Even signatories have yet to see any substantive detail of the proposed changes.

“Public submissions on the Bill close on Friday. How are we supposed to address these with any understanding or insight?”

Ms Davis said it must be going through the minds of members of the Legislative Council that this is fast becoming a comic opera.