A MAJOR rift has emerged between the Tasmanian and Australian Greens as the forest peace deal legislation passed the Tasmanian Parliament.
Federal Greens leader Christine Milne has been savage in her criticism of the amended bill, which the Tasmanian Greens embraced yesterday.
Former Tasmanian leader Peg Putt said the division was unprecedented, saying she had "never seen a split like this".
"The industry will be gleeful - not only did they get the conservation provisions watered down and put off ... they've managed to split the Greens and the environment movement," Ms Putt said.
"They'll be having a party tonight."
Ms Putt watched the debate in Parliament House yesterday, where Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim and three of his party room supported the bill "despite (its) imperfections".
The Tasmanian Greens' decision to support the amended legislation came despite opposition from senior party figures, including Senator Milne and former leader Bob Brown, who last week said it was "wrecked" and "torpedoed" by the Legislative Council.
Senator Milne, speaking before the bill's passage, said she believed her Tasmanian counterparts also believed the legislation was dead.
"It doesn't matter what they do in the lower house because it's just going to set up a convoluted process that people are going to fight over indefinitely," Senator Milne said.
"It is clear to me that the reserves are on the never-never."
University of Tasmania Associate Professor Kate Crowley agreed with Ms Putt's assessment, saying "the signs are there that it's a pragmatic Tasmanian Greens versus the deeper Greens, national Greens on forestry".
That assessment makes Mr McKim the de facto leader of a moderate or pragmatic wing, while Senator Milne lines up with Dr Brown, Ms Putt, Bass Greens MHA Kim Booth and protest groups including Still Wild, Still Threatened and the Huon Valley Environment Group.
Dr Crowley said the Greens and Labor had become cosier as their shared term in government went on.
"What intrigues me is how fist in glove Labor and the Greens are. When you think how the Labor-Green Accord fell over in 1992 over forestry, well this government is getting tighter over forestry issues," Dr Crowley said.
Dr Brown and Senator Milne were members of the Tasmanian Parliament in 1989 that adopted the Labor-Green Accord.
Mr Booth was the sole Greens member to cross the floor yesterday, which Dr Crowley said was a growing sign of the Greens' political maturity.
Mr McKim said he was entirely comfortable with Mr Booth's decision.