Tasmania's forest peace deal dead

TASMANIA'S forest peace deal is dead.

The state government has claimed its first major legislative win after its forest repeal bill passed into law last night.

Debate on the Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Bill 2014 was guillotined at 9pm.

Given the government's majority numbers in the lower house, a final vote on the amended legislation passed with ease as expected.

Premier Will Hodgman said repealing the Tasmanian Forest Agreement marked a milestone in rebuilding the state's timber industry.

"We took a clear plan to the election to say 'enough is enough' and rip up the job-destroying forest deal," Mr Hodgman said.

"That plan was resoundingly endorsed by the Tasmanian people and today that plan has been delivered."

But Greens leader Kim Booth said the Liberals had sunk parliament's reputation to a new low after gagging debate on the bill after three hours.

"This travesty of a 'Wreck the Forest Future' Bill had 27 Legislative Committee amendments to it, which gave 6.67 minutes time to each amendment," he said.

"It is no surprise then that unfortunately most remained unexamined due to time running out under the gag."

Mr Booth said there were still serious questions to be answered over securing Forest Stewardship Council certification, despite earlier assurances from timber industry heavyweights that the repeal bill would not threaten accreditation.

"This is a dark day for Tasmania's democracy, a dark day for our forests, and a dark day for any hope that a viable restructured future for a state timber industry will occur any time soon," he said.

The legislation reclassifies 400,000 hectares of native forest for potential broad-scale logging in six years' time.

The specialty species sector will also be able to source wood from other areas of previously protected land in three years' time without having to adhere to Forestry Tasmania's standards.

Markets for Change chief executive Peg Putt said bill's passage would lead to a "logging rampage" in existing and future reserves.


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