Forestry inquiry push

A PUSH to set up a second parliamentary inquiry into the state's forestry policy in less than two years will be debated today.

Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest will seek to establish a Legislative Council committee to examine the Liberal government's legislation to unlock protected areas for logging in six years' time.

Last year, then independent Huon MLC Paul Harriss, who is now the Resources Minister responsible for the new forestry policy, chaired a Legislative Council inquiry into the previous government's forestry legislation.

Ms Forrest said last year's process had led to several key amendments and said it was important that the same rigour was applied to the proposed legislation.

The Liberals' legislation, which repeals the forestry peace agreement, was passed by the House of Assembly earlier this month, after debate was guillotined.

Ms Forrest said there were  unanswered questions about the impact of the new policy on the ability to obtain Forest Stewardship Council certification, Commonwealth funding and the viability of Forestry Tasmania.

The committee could start as early as tomorrow and was not expected to take as long as the previous forestry inquiry.

Ms Forrest said there was no reason to rush to enact the legislation.

 ``It doesn't create one more job or allow one more tree to be harvested for six years,'' Ms Forrest said.  

The motion is expected to fail, clearing the way for the legislation to be debated on Thursday.

Rumney MLC Tony Mulder said there was no need for a committee because the new legislation did not represent a fundamental change.

Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest

Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest


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