STATE and federal Liberals have been challenged to show how they intend to wind back new World Heritage areas as peace deal signatories seek to reclaim the momentum following Tony Abbott's landslide Tasmanian election result.
Opposition Leader Will Hodgman sparked a frenzied response on ABC radio yesterday, when he said his party would have no hesitation sending Forestry Tasmania into new World Heritage areas to log specialty timbers otherwise unavailable.
``It would be criminal if we sacrifice the ability to make world-class furniture and wood products because there's inadequate access to those specialty timbers,'' Mr Hodgman said.
``We won't sell down the river the country sawmills who said they're struggling to find the resource they need or the specialty timber sector.''
While Mr Hodgman said it would be seen as a growing opportunity for wood product, Greens leader Nick McKim said there was no market for timber products from World Heritage areas.
``This would set Tasmania up to be an international embarrassment . . . it would be very unlikely for the UN to agree to delist to a World Heritage extension they've agreed to list,'' Mr McKim said.
``There's no doubt if this happens, it would be an end to the agreement and plunge Tasmania back into conflict.''
Peace deal signatory Vica Bayley said specialty timbers were being sourced by the Special Council.
``We're going through this process at the moment, with real data on specialty timbers . . . but the solution isn't logging World Heritage value forests,'' Mr Bayley said.
Mr Hodgman's comments also provoked a response from Forestry Tasmania, which confirmed it was ``working with [the] Special Council on management plans for the future supply of special timbers and development of residue markets''.
Tasmanian Senator Richard Colbeck, a likely forestry minister in the Abbott government, said he would seek a briefing from the federal forestry department on the best way to achieve a rollback of the World Heritage areas.
``It's not just a `jump in boots and all' process, we're going to have to work our way through this,'' he said, adding he was ``more than confident'' he could make a strong case before the United Nations if he needed to.
Senator Colbeck claimed the swing against Labor was most pronounced in traditional forestry towns.
That swing was 19 per cent at Smithton, 16 per cent at Scottsdale and 12 per cent at Geeveston.
Mr Bayley had a different view, saying forestry commitments were ``buried in an economic policy'' and the Liberals didn't advertise their position on forestry widely.