Green confident of forestry agreement

DEPUTY Premier Bryan Green is confident a forestry agreement can be reached between environment and industry within two weeks as concerns about timber processor Ta Ann Tasmania's viability grows.

The Malaysian company is considering the future of its Tasmanian operations and has called for the groups to reach an agreement.

At a board meeting held last week, it was decided to give it two more weeks before making a decision about its mills in Smithton and Geeveston.

The peace talks collapsed at the end of last month, but informal talks have continued and environment groups are now considering a compromise offer from the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania.

Asked if he thought the two- week deadline for an agreement was plausible Mr Green said:

"Yes, I do because I'm aware of the discussions that are taking place behind the scenes," Mr Green said.

In Parliament, Premier Lara Giddings said she was "very concerned" about Ta Ann's comments.

"It highlights how important reaching an agreement is under the IGA," Ms Giddings said.

Ta Ann has been targeted by green activists with three protesters arrested at its Smithton site on Monday in the latest action.

Ms Giddings said stronger laws would have been in place to deal with protesters if the Liberal Party had not lobbied the Legislative Council to delay their introduction until next year.


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