Updated: August 15, 2012
Interim Agreement lays groundwork for historic Tassie forest outcome
After campaigning for 30 years on behalf of Tasmania’s forests, the last three weeks have been critical to reaching an agreement between environmentalists and the timber industry.
Negotiations have resembled crisis talks, literally lasting through the night in an effort to find a workable solution for both the environment movement and the forestry industry.
We've advocated for the protection of large amounts of old growth, wilderness and high conservation value native forests while still being able to secure wood supply to the Tasmanian timber industry and its three main sectors – the large saw millers, the smaller country saw millers and the veneer sector.
Before agreeing on this, an elaborate computer modelling process was needed to ensure that the projected wood supply was available. Unfortunately, the process uncovered new information revealing that there was significantly less wood available than had been previously identified.
This meant that we either had to agree to a smaller reserve system or significantly reduce wood supply.
The crisis led to senior ministers from both the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments joining in the negotiations. On the 15 August 2012, we were involved in a major breakthrough with agreement by all parties to the immediate launch of a wood supply buy back program by the two governments and a range of other measures.
In four to five weeks time, following the conclusion of the buy back program and a range of other measures, the negotiations will re-convene for a final time to establish the new size of the industry and the final size of the reserve system.
In the meantime, the signatories have released an Interim Agreement missing only the two key components outlined above – reserves and wood supply.
After decades of hard work for the preservation of Tassie’s forest, we thank you for you support and look forward to sharing with you the final details of the Agreement over the next few weeks.tion
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Tasmania Inc
130 Davey Street, TAS, 7000 Australia
Phone: (03) 6224 1550 | Fax: (03) 6223 5112