Image for Forest peace deal test. MLCs vote it down, 12-2

The forest peace deal will be tested in the Upper House today.

Legislative Councillors will vote on a motion to oppose the $276 million agreement to end almost all native forest logging in the state.

Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall says it is a crucial test given the agreement requires both houses of State Parliament to approve legislation to create new forest reserves.

“If it receives the support of the council it will certainly give the government something to think about and any subsequent legislation that does come forward to implement it,” he said.

“It’s a bit unclear at this stage as to what we may get in terms of legislation.”

ABC Online HERE

• Watch the Legilsative Council debate: There is a permanent link under the pic of Mt Wellington (click on TAS-CAM, top Nav Bar). Nominate Leg Co from Parliament’s Webcast Menu

• ABC Online: MLCs slam forestry funding deal

Posted September 27, 2011 13:16:45

The Upper House has been told the forestry deal will have a catastrophic effect on Tasmania.

The Upper House has heard Tasmania’s economy will fall to pieces if more native forests are protected from logging.

The $276 million federally-funded forest peace deal needs the support of the Legislative Council to ensure new forest reserves are created.

But Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall wants his colleagues to oppose the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA).

The Independent MP says it will have a catastrophic effect on the state.

“Every Tasmanian will feel the results.”

Huon MLC Paul Harriss branded the IGA the “incompetent governmental abomination.”

“Make no mistake about it Madam president, this is a politically-based, politically-driven, politically-imperative document which has been produced.”

The debate is expected to end with a tight vote later this afternoon.

Resources Minister Bryan Green told the Lower House the agreement was progressing.

Sacked forest workers will be able to access a $15 million package to get help to re-enter the work force from next month.

HERE

• Friends of Jackeys Marsh: The Great Western Tiers – A National Park

Friends of Jackeys Marsh beg to differ with Greg Hall over the future of the Great Western Tiers, the backbone of his Legislative Council electorate.

Greg Hall has certainly not consulted with the majority sentiment of his electorate who believe the Inter-govenmental Forest Agreement is the best way to ensure a future for the natural and cultural values of the Great Western Tiers based on a world class Great Western Tiers National Park.

Tourism operator and Friends of Jackeys Marsh board member Rosemary Norwood says “tourism, based on fine agricultural products and ecotourism is the future of economy of the region. The Meander River and Huntsman Lake are gaining a reputation with fly fisherman and most people who stay at our ecolodge in Jackeys Marsh are enthralled with the unspoiled beauty of the forested mountains.”

The Meander Valley Council and the Great Western Tiers Tourism Association have put a lot of money and effort behind promoting the Great Western Tiers as a destination for tourists to the area. Greg Hall should get behind their efforts.

At this time when native forest logging has proven unsustainable, both environmentally and economically it is time for him to come out and embrace the protection of the forests of the Great Western Tiers and legislate to have them placed in a national park. I’m sure most of his electorate would agree.

• ABC Online, Wednesday: Forest deal fails Upper House test

Tasmania’s independent-dominated upper house has supported a motion to oppose the $276 million Intergovernmental Forest Agreement (IGA) in its current form.

After heated debate lasting more than six hours, the motion succeeded 12 votes to two, with the two Labor members the only dissenters.

The State Government needs the Upper House’s support if it is to pass legislation to create new native forest reserves under the federally-funded agreement.

The Independent Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall, who moved the motion, says the vote should send a strong message to both the State and Federal Governments.

During the debate, Huon MLC Paul Harriss branded the IGA the “incompetent governmental abomination.”

He says it is a “dud deal” driven by the Greens

“Make no mistake about it Madam president, this is a politically-based, politically-driven, politically-imperative document which has been produced.”

“The huge majority of people in the electorate that I have the great privilege to represent are aghast at the stupidity of where we now find ourselves.”

“I’m glad the honourable member has brought this motion on because the IGA in its current form is a crock and I support the motion,” he said.

The debate is expected to end with a tight vote later this afternoon.

Resources Minister Bryan Green told the Lower House the agreement was progressing.

Sacked forest workers will be able to access a $15 million package to get help to re-enter the work force from next month.

The Tasmanian Premier is sticking by her claims ...

More, ABC Online HERE