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Forestry (UNLOCKING PRODUCTION FORESTS) BILL 2017 (No. 6)

May 25, 2017

Ms Armitage (Launceston) - I might need some guidance whether this is the right place to ask this question.  It is regarding some comments from the previous minister in his second reading speech on 28 May 2014.  I need to check whether I am missing something or have missed a process.  Could you give me leeway to read what he has said so I can ask the question?  He said –

 

No earlier than 8 April 2020, the tenure of the future potential production of forest land may be changed by the conversion of the future potential production forest land to permanent timber production zone land.  Six years provides time for the Tasmanian community to better understand the range of values across this land...

 

The bill makes it clear that, if a decision is to be made to return part or all of that land to production forestry, the minister administering the Forest Management Act would need to have ordered a full and detailed examination of the land in question, including conservation values, resource and demand analysis and an evaluation of the social and economic impacts of the proposed change in tenure.  The minister would also need to have regard to the capacity of Forestry Tasmania to harvest the land under its forest management certification.

 

Has that taken place?  I may have missed that.  Is this the place where the analysis should be listed?  Do we have a copy of that? 

 

The Acting Leader of Government in the Legislative Council, Mrs Hiscutt  -

 

Clause 11 deals with transfer of land between Permanent Timber Zone Production land and crown land.  This is necessary for administrative boundary adjustments, but it is not the substantive clause of the bill addressing conversion to production forest land. 

 

The Government's view is that an analysis of conservation values undertaken by the Government will not have the effect on markets that some stakeholders claim. Conservation groups have reiterated their position that 100 per cent of the Future Potential Production Forest land is high conservation land.  A direct contest between a government-commissioned report and the views of conservation groups is a recipe for further conflict that the industry can ill afford.  To be effective, an analysis of conservation values over and above that required by the forest practices system and other environmental regulations needs to be undertaken within a framework that will satisfy specific market requirements.  This is currently done primarily through one of a number of internationally recognised forest management-certified bodies.

 

If such work is to be taken, it will be most effective if it is done by a proponent who has identified their market requirement.  It is best to tailor the analysis and the management's response to meet the needs of the current and identified future customers.

 

Ms Armitage - I thank the Acting Leader for her answer but I understand it has not been done.  On 28 May 2014 I reluctantly supported the bill because I supported the TFA.  I supported the bill because I noted the things that were in here to say that part would not be returned unless all these things were covered. I supported it at the time because the durability report probably was not going to be and we would have lost the total bill. I have further concerns that an undertaking made in May 2014 has not been carried out.

 

Mrs Hiscutt - This bill is a response to changing circumstances.  The member's position has been noted.

 

 

 

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