Tasmania's resources minister has praised the forestry sector's ability to adapt during the COVID-19 crisis but Greens leader and forests spokeswoman Cassy O'Connor said the industry needed a rethink.
Resources Minister Guy Barnett said findings from the Safety in the Tasmanian Forestry industry through COVID-19 survey, distributed through the COVID-19 Communications Working Group, showed the workforce was ready to get on with the job with new regulations to continue to operate through the pandemic.
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"Key findings from the survey include 98 per cent were confident to somewhat confident their organisation could operate safety and efficiently through this pandemic," Mr Barnett said.
"86 per cent found it easy or somewhat easy to implement social distancing and safe hygiene work practices, allowing business to continue, [and] 82 per cent are confident they can work safely through this period."
Mr Barnett said the forestry sector would be a key leader in the recovery and rebuilding of the Tasmanian economy after COVID-19 thanks to the dedication of businesses and employees, and ongoing demand for timber exports.
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But Ms O'Connor said the coronavirus pandemic has shown "business-as-usual" was over and Mr Barnett should use this opportunity to lead a conversation with industry about a new future.
"While the coronavirus pandemic has rightly been our recent focus, the climate crisis has not simply disappeared," Ms O'Connor said.
"The Greens encourage Mr Barnett to exercise his imagination about how skilled native forest workers can help to repair and rewild Tasmania, and protect us from future threats like bushfires."
Ms O'Connor said Mr Barnett, as a member for Lyons, was well-placed to bring together farmers, scientists, forest workers and conservationists to replant and restore the Midlands.
"It's a landscape crying out for repair and reforesting," she said.
"This project would drive jobs, improve soil and water health, and bolster our carbon stores."