I notice, in the Advocate last week, that comments taken from FT Chairman Rob de Fegely’s 6+ page letter to Treasurer Peter Gutwein and Resources Minister Guy Barnett FINALLY received a public airing (Wednesday 15.3.17 page 4) - revealing the true underbelly of this push to “unlock” 357,000 hectares of “informally” reserved forests for logging from 2018 as part of a proposed 20 Year Rolling Extension.

These native forest reserves were part of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, passed by the Tasmanian parliament in April 2013. Initially subject to a moratorium of 6 years, the incoming Hodgman state government axed that part of the TFA.

Had his government been sincere in its intention to “throw out” the TFA on coming to government, it would have also rescinded FT’s contractual obligation to supply Tasmanian sawmillers with a minimum of 137,000 cubic metres of high-quality sawlogs annually, which was part of the same TFA.

Appalling mismanagement of the native forest resource by FT prior to 2013 was slowly and painfully revealed in the drawing up of the TFA, something perfectly clear to Tony Burke in his role facilitating the Gillard governments funding of a restructure of the Tasmanian Forest Industry, which led to the passing of the TFA in April 2013.

This further axing of protection for those reserved forests to 2018, by the same Hodgman government, can ONLY lead to further environmental disaster for Tasmania, and the release of even more carbon, exacerbating our state’s contribution to climate change.

ANY continued exemption of FT from the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act can ONLY lead to further habitat loss and species destruction.

Repealing the 2001 Regional Forest Agreement Act AND concluding the failed 20 year TAS RFA (1997-2017) MUST be sought immediately.