Federal plan 'risks jobs and market'

SIGNATORIES to the forest peace deal are ``utterly perplexed'' that the federal government has written to the World Heritage Committee to say it will make a submission to withdraw areas from the Tasmanian World Heritage listing before the committee next meets.

Under the forest peace deal 170,000 hectares were added to the World Heritage List, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott wrote to Opposition Leader Will Hodgman late last year confirming his intention to vary the listing.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said yesterday that he would meet the February 1 deadline for changes to listings and would release details of the areas proposed to be delisted once the submission had been made. 

``I think the committee would be surprised that they received a nomination which didn't set out that there were areas that had been clear-felled, logged and subject to destruction, and failed to meet global standards of a world heritage area,'' Mr Hunt said.

He said all of the previous listed national parks that were included in the extension would be maintained, which are understood to make up 50,000 of the 170,000 hectares.

Mr Hunt said there were degraded areas that should never have been included.

``I think everybody understands that,'' he said.

He could not confirm whether the Styx and Florentine valleys would be safe from logging.

Forest Industries Association of Tasmania chief executive and signatory to the peace deal Terry Edwards has said that markets would not buy from controversial de-listed areas. 

Wilderness Society spokesman Vica Bayley said the move would take the state backwards.

``They are risking jobs and markets,'' Mr Bayley said.

The federal government will submit a final proposal to the World Heritage authorities next week.


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