The Tasmanian Greens today called on the Forest Practices Authority (FPA) to recommence its review in relation to chemical usage, after revelations that the Agricultural, Silvicultural and Veterinary Chemicals Council (ASChem Council) has requested that the FPA amend the Forest Practices Code to improve risk assessment and land use practices to reduce the risks of chemical contamination.

Greens Water Spokesperson Tim Morris MP said it appears that the currently stalled FPA review has caused a delay in acting on the request from the ASChem Council, but that as the FPA does have clear direction on this issue there is no reason for it to not commence the work required to incorporate the ASChem Council advice into the Forest Practices Code.

Mr Morris also said the current suspension of the review of the Forest Practices Code was unlikely to be lifted in the foreseeable future, after Forestry Minister Bryan Green acknowledged that he would not be able to provide other crucial information requested by the FPA to inform the review until the future of the industry was resolved.

“Whilst it is pleasing that there has at last been official recognition that the current regulatory regime needs to be enhanced considerably, it is disappointing that there will be further delays in implementing these changes through the Forest Practices Code because the current review is on hold pending the outcome of current negotiations over the whole forestry sector,” said Mr Morris.

“Minister Green again laughably claimed that Tasmania has the best forest practices system in the world, but we are now seeing another area, chemical use, being required to undergo improvements in what is increasingly seen as a substandard and out-of-date code for regulating forestry in Tasmania.”

“This delay in reviewing the code reinforces the need for urgent and comprehensive reform in the forest sector.”

“I am calling on the FPA to recommence their review in relation to chemical usage as they do have clear advice from the ASChem Council on this issue,” said Mr Morris.