Yesterday the front page of Tasmania’s Examiner read “End of war in Tassie’s forests?”. Today it is “Policy cut down: Environment groups attack forestry plan.”
The war was meant to end in 1997 with the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA). But the campaigning never stopped.
In the deal signed on Friday between Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon and the PM something like 90 per cent of the forest in the northwest know as the Tarkine will now be ‘protected’ from logging.
The campaigners, however, are complaining because the area won’t be World Heritage listed – not even given National Park status. I understand that while logging is now banned there is still potential for cattle grazing and mining.
The timber industry gets money for restructuring etcetera. In fact the $250 million package promised by the PM on Friday is a lot more than the $110 million which came with the 1997 RFA.
There are a whole lot of other components to the deal including banning the use of the poison 1080 in state forests from January. There is apparently no alternative effective control for ‘browsing’ animals who can destroy seedlings in new forest planting, but $4 million has been promised for research.