“If it won’t deliver peace we should ditch it”

The so-called forest peace deal has imploded after just two days in Tasmania’s upper house inquiry, according to Coalition Forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck.

Senator Colbeck said it had become painfully clear that the forest IGA would not deliver a sustainable, conflict-free Tasmanian forest industry.

“The Coalition has said every step of the way that this deal was a sham and that it would not deliver a sustainable, conflict-free forest industry for Tasmania,” Senator Colbeck said.

“In two days, we’ve had two key environmentalists appear before the inquiry; one saying it is not his “job” to stop others from protesting and another saying the durability arrangements won’t be effective.

“Marry that with other environmentalists’ comments – those who are the principal perpetrators of market disruption - that they are not bound by the agreement because they are not signatories to it and you have a quick trip back to where we’ve come from. This includes Markets for Change and the Huon Valley Environment Centre.”

“So, we have the very real prospect of outlaying $380 million of taxpayers’ money to cut our timber industry in half on a deal which won’t deliver peace.

“All of the rhetoric, all of the rationale for this deal has been about peace. All along the Coalition has said this would not be achieved and now, even those who were supposed to be delivering peace are saying it will not happen.

“It is time for the grand fraud being perpetrated on the Tasmanian community to stop.”

“Tasmanians are tired of the conflict that has raged for decades – they just want this fixed. The Government is grasping the opportunity to move beyond past conflict and the old-style politics of the Tasmanian Liberals and look positively to the future.”
Premier Lara Giddings, November 22, 2013

” ... With (the agreement) you can very easily see a path for investment, you can see a path for employment, you can see a pathway where the forestry industry has security of wood supply and a level of social licence that the forestry industry does not have in any other part of Australia.”
Environment Minister Tony Burke, December 11, 2012