$7.8m to flow on forestry deal

MORE than $7.8 million in federal funding will flow to keep the forestry peace deal alive, despite the Liberals vowing to tear up the agreement.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed that the new federal government will provide the money earmarked to manage new reserves created under the deal and support the work of the Special Council set up to oversee the legislation's implementation.

Deputy Premier Bryan Green released Mr Hunt's letter confirming the payment, claiming it was a sign that the Coalition government now supported the Tasmanian Forests Agreement. 

``No amount of cute language from the Tasmanian Liberals can hide the fact that they are backing away from their opposition to the TFA,'' Mr Green said. Opposition Leader Will Hodgman ``has left himself in no man's land on forestry.''

Greens leader Nick McKim went further, comparing Mr Hodgman's forestry policy with the actions of terrorists. 

``Logging in the World Heritage area is akin to the Taliban dynamiting millennia-old religious statues. It is a gross act of vandalism,'' Mr McKim said.   

He called on the Coalition to commit to fund the management of new reserves in perpetuity and abandon plans to repeal the World Heritage boundary extension.

Mr Hunt said the federal government had no choice but to honour the contract signed between the previous federal Labor government and the state government. 

Mr Hodgman said the state and federal Liberals remained united on forestry.  ``If anyone seriously thinks that the federal Coalition is in any way supportive of this deal, then they're kidding themselves,'' he  said.  ``Our commitment has always been to unravel as much of this mess as we can.''

However, Mr Hodgman dodged other questions on how that would affect any future funding commitments on forestry. 

``You'll have to ask the federal government about that.''

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