Forestry talks seen as a positive step

FARMERS see recent talks with incoming premier Will Hodgman on forestry as a positive step towards a better future for the industry.

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said yesterday that the talks in Hobart on Friday were useful but much work remained.

Forestry leaders said after the meeting that the Tasmanian Forests Agreement, negotiated over four years and embraced by Labor, was irrelevant as the Liberals had campaigned strongly against it and were elected to power on March 15.

The farming association was not involved in negotiating the peace deal and was not a signatory.

Ms Davis said yesterday that although farmers were not part of the peace deal, they were heavily affected because they had a lot of plantation wood growing on private land.

She said farmers had asked the previous government, under premier Lara Giddings and resources minister Brian Green, for a plan for the private sector, but that did not happen.

This contrasted with the Liberals, who had promised money to develop such a plan.

"This has been a very positive start that will hopefully get us to a place that we will all be happy with," she said.

Details of the Liberal plan are not expected until after the government's first cabinet meeting, possibly early next month.


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