Pic: Daniel Haley
Tasmania’s Lower House has passed historic legislation designed to end 30 years of conflict over logging in the state’s native forests.
The final deal will bring almost $400 million worth of state and federal funds to Tasmania to restructure the industry and create new reserves.
But the compromises made along the way have left the Greens to deem the final result almost worthless.
Tasmania’s Parliament passed the crucial legislation on Monday evening, 13 votes to 11.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke flew into Hobart to celebrate.
“The rest of Australia has not come close to being able to achieve what Tasmania achieves today, and that is a solid conservation outcome with a solid economic future,” he said.
But the mood in the gallery was far from celebratory, as the legislation to enact the agreement was heavily amended by the Upper House two weeks ago.
The amendments effectively delay the creation of formal reserves.
Greens MP Kim Booth was the only member of the Labor-Greens minority Government to cross the floor and vote against the legislation.
“It does not give protection beyond the World Heritage Area, which I’m very, very pleased has been sent to Paris,” he said.
Audio: Tasmanian Parliament supports historic forest peace deal (PM)
“It does not give permanent protection to any of the other 504,000 hectares that are mentioned as areas that should be reserved.”
The leader of the Australian Greens, Christine Milne, does not support the deal either.
• Alice Hungerford: Today’s announcement is one of those hollow compromises that means nothing much at all has changed. Some would say half is better than none, but I say every last bit was the minimum we needed to protect. This Opportunity for Deep Restorative Change was lost.
• Christine Milne Transcript: Mining tax, budget, Tasmanian Forest Agreement, asylum seekers But equally as the leader of the Australian Greens there is no way I can countenance the idea that the community’s freedom of speech will be curtailed - the freedom to protest, the freedom of speech to be curtailed. There is absolutely no way that you can say to the Tasmanian community if you have a protest, if you speak out about the rubble and the mess that’s been created then the Legislative Council through the special council that’s been set up can determine that reserves will not be gazetted. That just simply is unacceptable in a democracy.