Tasmanian government repeals forestry peace deal, opens up 400,000 hectares for logging

2 September 2014

The Tasmanian government has repealed the state’s forestry peace deal after both houses of parliament passed a vote to scrap the plan on Tuesday evening.

The termination of the four-year peace deal, which ended a 30-year battle between environmentalists and loggers over Tasmania’s forests, will remove 400,000 hectares (988,000 acres) of state-wide native forest from reserves for logging.

The Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) bill passed the Liberal-dominated lower house after being amended in Tasmania’s upper house.

The bill scraps the forestry peace deal, introduced by the previous Labor government, to allow widespread logging in the protected 400,000-hectare area in six years’ time. The peace deal had provided payment to loggers to move away from felling native forests.

The specialty timber sector will have access to a wider 1.1m hectares of previously protected forest for selective logging.

The Liberal state government, which won power earlier this year with a pledge to rip up the forestry peace deal, claims the protection of vast swaths of forest has hindered job creation.

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