November 7, 1997
When the state's sawmilling giants accused the Tasmanian government of selling out to the Greens with a 400,000ha reserve grab in November 1997, it was reported by The Examiner that the Regional Forest Agreement was likely to be signed the following day.
The article, Forests blast for Rundle, was written by journalist Barry Prismall who still writes columns for the paper today.
The agreement detailed the future use of forests in Tasmania and was stated to be likely signed by Premier Tony Rundle and Prime Minister John Howard at Lilydale.
Members of the forest industry lobby claimed to have been given details of the RFA and the sawmillers accused the state government of locking up valuable veneer and sawlogs for political reasons.
"This is the biggest grab I have ever seen - between 300,00 and 400,000ha. We are just trying to get the sense of it, but I think it's a sell out that will lead to a less viable industry," Gunns managing director John Gay said in the article.
Mr Rundle issued a two-paragraph statement saying all stakeholder views were being taken into account during talks with Mr Howard.
In the article, Forest Protection Society state coordinator Barry Chipman warned of job losses.
Also making front page of The Examiner was a topic still at the forefront of discussion today, the Tamar River and what to do about the mud.
On November 7, 1997, The Examiner quoted Environment and Land Management Minister Peter Hodgman saying the state government was looking at establishing a trust fund to be used to repair the environmental damage in the Tamar River.
"When the last five-year plan was developed there was an expectation that the problem could be fixed in that time," he said.
"I've discovered today that it can't be fixed in five years.
"The Tamar will always need dredging, in the same way that roads need maintenance."
However, 24 years later and the kanamaluka/Tamar River dredging debate is still as heated as ever.
"I am confident something will be done for the Tamar following the minister's firsthand look at the problems yesterday," Launceston mayor John Lees said in the 1997 article.
Other front page headlines included Tasrail strife, confusion from aged-care providers, and a revised Northern football structure.
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