March 17, 2014
The result of the Tasmanian election sends a very clear message that the time has come to restore common-sense to forest policy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck said.
Senator Colbeck said the Coalition will work constructively with the new Tasmanian Liberal Government to ensure a sustainable long-term future for the forest industry in the state.
He said Tasmanians punished the Labor/Green government for disastrous policy decisions including mismanagement of the state's forestry industry.
"Tasmanians have voiced their strong support for the Liberal's forest policy for the second time. Last year they voted for change at the federal election and now they have voted for change in Tasmania. The message is very clear," Senator Colbeck said.
"Tasmanians want to see a sustainable forestry industry in Tasmania and they know Labor and the Greens' approach would have seen the death of the industry. Only the Liberals have a forest policy that will provide long term sustainability," Senator Colbeck said.
Senator Colbeck said it is time for the Greens and ENGOs to put away the language of war and conflict when it comes to the forestry industry and accept the will of the people.
"Tasmanians have again given us a mandate for our forest policy. The Greens should respect this mandate and end their negative campaign and threats," he said.
Senator Colbeck said Tasmania can have a sustainable forest industry while protecting the environment and providing benefits to the community.
He said the Coalition's plan to remove 74,000 hectares from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area would enhance the existing estate.
"The extension includes pine and eucalyptus plantations, recently harvested coupes and areas with a long history of forestry activity. These areas detract from the existing world heritage estate," he said.
"We can have an outstanding wilderness world heritage area and we can have a sustainable forest industry that sits alongside that without diminishing those outstanding values."
Senator Colbeck said he looked forward to working with Will Hodgman and the Tasmanian Liberal Government to return common-sense to forest policy decisions and create a better future for the state.