Hodgman scraps forestry council

THE special council set up to implement the Tasmanian Forests Agreement will be scrapped by the new Liberal government as it prepares to flesh out its plan to open up more forests for logging.

Premier-elect Will Hodgman used his first press conference since claiming victory on Saturday to defend his decision to exclude environment groups from tomorrow's talks on forestry.

Mr Hodgman has rejected advice from Forest Industries Association of Tasmania's Terry Edwards, who will be at the meeting, to include the Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania representatives in the talks.

'I would hope that the environment movement accept the will of the people, accept that there is a new way of doing business when it comes to our forestry business' - Will Hodgman

Mr Hodgman dismissed that as a waste of time, only prepared to talk to those that want to grow the forestry industry.

"I would hope that the environment movement accept the will of the people, accept that there is a new way of doing business when it comes to our forestry business," Mr Hodgman said yesterday.

He also revealed there would be no ongoing role for the special council established under the TFA legislation, which has been monitoring and reporting on the success of the peace deal.

It appears the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's Jane Calvert, who chairs the council, has also been left off the invitation list for tomorrow's meeting.

Ms Calvert has urged the Liberals to meet the council first, including environment groups.

"You can get all the other settings right but if you don't have the broad support of the environment groups then none of the other settings matter," Ms Calvert said.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and Tasmanian Sawmillers Association are planning to attend the meeting.

Tasmanian Sawmillers Association, a signatory to the peace deal, is seeking an extra 15,000 to 20,000 cubic metres of wood to supply up to eight regional sawmills.

However, association chairman Shane Rice said it was still important to engage with environment groups.

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