TASMANIAN FORESTS AGREEMENT BILL 2012
Mrs ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Madam President, I say 'Give peace a chance'. If the durability does not hold up then it will fall at the first hurdle and this agreement will be dead. However, if there is a chance that it could work, improve or save this industry, then I have to vote for this amended and improved bill. A lot of amendments and improvements have been built into this bill, we have had select committees, we have spent a lot of time and the agreement has been going on for a long time. I just think for us now to vote it down without even giving it a chance to see if it can work - I do not believe we can actually do that.
I differ from the member from Nelson, who was there a moment ago. Many of the professional people I have spoken to say: what is the forest industry at the moment? It is a failing industry and yes, it is cyclic and it may come back but I have had many, many calls from people in the industry as well that say, 'Please help us to get this agreement up so that the businesses and sawmills that want to stay there can stay there and the people that need to exit the industry can do so with some dignity.'
I admit that the money that is there is not a great deal of money for the resource that is there, but if we can have an industry that can operate in a sustainable way - and I do not believe it is at the moment - and a Forestry Tasmania that could be sustainable, then I think it is worth giving it a try and I certainly will be voting for this bill. Much work has gone into it, and as I said, if we can have peace, let us give it a try, because the only thing I know for certain is if we do not pass this bill, then we will not have peace.