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*A Kevin Perkins low table. Image, here

• MR: Boat builders and woodworkers support the Tasmanian Forest Agreement

At today’s launch (Sat) of the recently completed wooden boat the Swiftsure at a Franklin regatta, prominent woodworkers John Young and Kevin Perkins released an open letter to Members of the Legislative Council, urging them to pass enabling legislation to make the Tasmanian Forests Agreement a reality.

The letter, already signed by over 30 boat builders, crafts people, artists, designers and processors will be presented to Councilors at the upcoming public hearings, when the two craftsmen are joined by co-sponsor of the letter and up and coming designer/maker Stuart Williams, to appear before the members.

“This letter demonstrates strong support across the specialty timber sector for the Forest Agreement as a way forward, not only for the timber industry of which we are a part, but for Tasmania as a whole,” said Mr Perkins.

“Collectively we are urging the Upper House to pass the necessary legislation and allow Tasmania to get on with the job of putting the forest issue behind us as this agreement is the only viable way forward, for our industry, for our community and for the State.

Co-founder of the original Wooden Boat School in Franklin, now known as the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Centre, John Young expressed confidence in the ongoing supply of specialty timber based on the provisions of the Forest Agreement, an expectation of continued consultation, research on real sustainable management and the public assurances of Forestry Tasmania.

“With tens of thousands of hectares specifically set aside for the long term supply of specialty timbers, an ongoing future for specialty timbers and people using them,” is within reach said Dr Young.

“With these timbers traditionally a by-product of clearfell and burn logging, the collapse of the timber industry would have seen our sector heavily hit.

“This agreement gives the entire timber industry a future, including the specialty timber sector as an important part within it.

The whaleboat Swiftsure was built by the Living Boat Trust, using a range of special Tasmanian timbers. A St Ayles skiff launched today was built by the Women on Water (WOW) members who will compete next August in the World championships in Scotland. Future projects are on the way.

About the open letter sponsors:

Kevin Perkins – Master craftsman, furniture designer/ maker and former lecturer, Kevin is renowned for designing and overseeing the fit out of the Prime Ministers’ suite in New Parliament House and St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta in Tasmanian fine timbers. (http://basement.craftaustralia.org.au/LivingTreasures/20071106.php )

John Young –John established the Wooden Boat School at Franklin and has a long history teaching and building boats using Tasmanian timbers. (http://www.utas.edu.au/geography-environment/people/John-Young )

Stuart Williams – As a Tasmanian-based designer/maker Stuart has received numerous design awards and focuses heavily on Tasmanian inspired themes and the use of Tasmanian timbers. (http://www.touchingspace.com.au/about.htm )

• Download Open Letter to Members of the Legislative Council:
Open_Letter_to_Members_of_the_Legislative_Council_COLLATED_NAMES.pdf

*Pic: Kevin Perkins
Coot Low Table, 2007
Dimensions: L:1620 x H:600 x D:430mm
Coot-King William pine and artists oil paint
Table top and base - swamp gum with castors