Parts of deal OK: timber industry

KEEP good parts of the forest peace deal and consider views of conservationists, say timber industry members.

Australian Forest Contractors Association chief executive Colin McCulloch said yesterday the incoming Liberal state government had a clear mandate for change, but the existing Tasmanian Forest Agreement had some advantages.

The Liberals have vowed to tear up the agreement, struck between the industry and conservationists under the former Labor government after years of negotiation.

Incoming premier Will Hodgman has already had talks with industry representatives but excluded conservationists.

He has not revealed the Liberal plan but says the party will rebuild the industry and generate  jobs.

Liberal deputy leader Jeremy Rockliff said yesterday the party would keep its election promise and rip up the ``job-destroying'' forest agreement.

``We are happy to consult with anybody who wants to rebuild our forest industry, not shut it down,'' he said.

The federal government wants to revoke some of the forest  nominated for World Heritage protection, as part of the peace deal.

``There is no doubt that there is a mandate to act on forestry from the Liberal party statewide,'' Mr McCulloch said.

``But the structure of the TFA in a lot of areas is quite sound.

``We would rather see some adjustments than a ripping-up (of the agreement).''

Mr McCulloch said confidence from the financial sector was vital for the harvest and haulage sector going forward, so the Liberal plan had to deliver that.

On the World Heritage forest delisting, Mr McCulloch said all stakeholders should be consulted and conservationists were peace-deal signatories, so should have input.

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