The State’s peak farming body has emphasised the importance of a sustainable environment for Tasmania’s private foresters to operate and expand their businesses.

In response to calls for a clarification of its position on the Forestry Bill (2017), CEO Peter Skillern said that the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) supported the State Government’s desire to strengthen the forest industry and ensure its sustainability into the future.

“However, many of our members have significant reservations about the Bill.  The near constant changing of the goal posts has done nothing to alleviate the anxiety around sovereign risk within the industry,’’ Mr Skillern said.

“On-going investment within the private forestry sector requires stability and an assurance that governments of all persuasions recognise that, in order for the sector to remain strong, it requires certainty into the future.”

He said that TFGA members were also concerned that the State Government had failed to properly articulate the reasoning behind its Forestry Bill.

“In doing so it has failed to bring the broader forest industry and the community onside. A better approach would be to have bipartisan support for the forest industry and the policies within which it operates.

“Unfortunately this government has ignored the TFGA’s repeated requests that it undertake constructive discussions with the Opposition to achieve this.”

The TFGA will continue to talk with Government and the Legislative Council in order to seek resolutions to these very critical issues for the industry.