The Tasmanian Government is on the cusp of repealing the historic forestry peace deal after the Legislative Council voted in favour of the broad plan to overturn the deal.
MLCs voted nine to five to pass the Government’s repeal bill on the second reading.
Repealing the peace deal struck between industry and environmental groups - designed to end decades of conflict in the state’s forests - was a key election pledge for the Liberals.
The repeal bill will reclassify 400,000 hectares of native forest for potential future logging.
MLCs are now considering amendments and a final vote is expected later tonight.
Independent MP Ruth Forrest wanted more time to consider the bill.
“We’re being asked to deal with it now. Why? Nothing changes for six years,” she told the Upper House.
Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin urged Upper House MPs to vote quickly.
WHAT CONSERVATIONISTS SAY ...
• TT Media HERE for the range of viewpoints, including Kim Booth’s MR revealing that taxpayers are continuing to subsidise Forestry Tasmania, and Nick McKim’s MR revealing that the anti-protest laws have been sent to an Upper House committee ... Legislative Councillors explicitly outlined that they were ignoring a swag of personal messages received in the past week from Tasmanians opposed to new forestry legislation which scuttles promised ‘peace deal’ reserves and also opens hundreds of existing protected areas for logging. The Premier has also received and ignored over 1500 letters of concern sent to him since Friday over the opening of 1.5 million hectares for logging. A dire situation for conservation has arisen after amendments of the Legislative Council were adopted that aim to ensure Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is achieved by Forestry Tasmania despite the abandonment of environmental commitments and a new assault on forests. “The government has gone much further than tearing up the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and has shamefully maintained their intention to open protected reserves of many years’ standing to environmentally destructive logging for specialty timbers, despite an outpouring of community concern,” said Tasmanian Conservation Trust Director Peter McGlone.