MLC warms towards forestry legislation

SUPPORT for the forestry peace deal is growing in the Legislative Council, with a key MLC declaring that she has more confidence in the agreement's durability.

Elwick MLC Adriana Taylor, who refused to support the enacting legislation in December, said evidence given to a parliamentary committee had helped allay many of her concerns.

"One of the things that really came across to me was how committed all of the signatories are to making it work, which is really good to hear," Mrs Taylor said.

"I believe absolutely now that all of the signatories really want to make it work.

"If we can, it would be great to support."

Last month the government provided details of the reserve classification likely to be granted for the 295 lots that will make up the first tranche of forests to be protected under the legislation.

Mrs Taylor was pleased that the bulk of the new reserves fitted the lowest category that would allow mining and other activities to continue.

Mrs Taylor had also been concerned that many stakeholders had been shut out of the negotiations between forestry industry and major environment groups, such as private foresters and the tourism industry.

"This agreement is between those who want to log and those who don't want to log, so I understand now why there weren't other people at the table," she said.

The Legislative Council committee set up to investigate the bill had given groups angry at being left out a chance to have their say.


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