Work has commenced on the third review of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) to assess progress in implementing commitments under the RFA and ensure the agreement is delivering the right balance of environmental, economic and social outcomes for Tasmania.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Tasmanian Minister for Resources, Paul Harriss, welcomed the review saying it was an important step in the governments’ progress towards negotiating an extended agreement and establishing a 20-year rolling life for the RFA.
“Both the Australian and Tasmanian governments consider that the Tasmanian RFA continues to provide the right framework for balancing the competing demands on Tasmania’s forests,” Senator Colbeck said.
“Our forest industry plays a vitally important role in many regional communities. A 20-year rolling life will provide ongoing resource security and investment certainty to the industry, driving employment and growth in regional areas.
“Once the review has been completed, we will commence formal negotiations with the Tasmanian Government to extend the Tasmanian RFA which is due to expire in 2017,” Senator Colbeck said.
The Australian and Tasmanian governments have jointly prepared a report on implementation of the Tasmanian RFA and invite public comments on the report.
Minister Harriss said he was looking forward to the outcomes of the review, and to getting on with the business of negotiating an extended agreement.
“We are pleased to announce that Dr Glen Kile, who has a wealth of experience and an extensive background in forestry issues, has been appointed to undertake the review,” Minister Harriss said.
“Dr Kile will consider the progress that’s been made implementing the agreement, along with feedback from stakeholders, and will deliver his recommendations in a report to be tabled in the Australian Parliament later this year.”
Public comments must be received by the Tasmanian Department of State Growth by 5pm on Friday 29 May 2015.
For more information on the Tasmanian RFA review, including the implementation report and how to make a submission, visit the Tasmanian Department of State Growth website stategrowth.tas.gov.au/forestry/rfa.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Resources Paul Harriss