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Labor’s plan to lock up Tasmania

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Resources

Federal Labor’s threat to revive the Tasmanian Forest Agreement if it wins the Federal election is confirmation that the ALP and the Greens will again conspire to once again shut down our forest industry and lock up even more of Tasmania just to attract inner city votes in mainland electorates.

The threat from ALP environment spokesman, Tony Burke, is also a breach of assurances given to the Tasmanian forestry industry at the Braddon by-election to not support a Tarkine national park.

Under the disastrous TFA, the Labor-Green Government sold out our forest industry by locking up vast areas of production forest, throwing thousands of Tasmanians out of work.

The Liberal Party opposed these lock-ups at the 2014 election and won a strong mandate to grow our forestry industry.  We have also backed the industry with a new 20-year Regional Forest Agreement and it is now on a sustainable growth trajectory.

Labor’s intent to turn back the clock is also a blatant attempt to subvert the Tasmanian Parliament, which reclassified large tracts of the Labor-Green reserves as future production forest.

Opposition Leader Rebecca White has previously said she has no regrets over the former Labor State Government’s role in supporting the job-destroying TFA. Ms White now needs to tell Tasmanians where she stands on this critically important issue.

The Regional Forest Agreement is the rock-solid intergovernmental agreement that delivers certainty and security to our sustainable forestry industry and the thousands of jobs that depend on them.

Under this agreement, more than 5700 Tasmanians work in the industry, confidence and investment is up and prices and exports are at a 10-year high.

Why would anyone want to go back to the Labor/Green disaster which saw more than 4000 jobs lost in the industry?