Image for Forests Heads of Agreement can be improved, but ...

The Tasmanian Conservation Trust says that when the Tasmanian Forests Heads of Agreement is signed into a binding agreement this Sunday, it is vital that no conservation group over-states the gains.

The TCT Director Peter McGlone stated today that “Even if the Heads of Agreement is greatly improved, it will not be the final forest peace deal.”

“The Heads of Agreement released by the Prime Minister and Premier on 24 July only considers a narrow part of the forests conservation agenda: whether to reserve up to 572,000 ha of forests on public land.

“Next Monday we expect that most conservation groups, like the TCT, will continue working for protection of threatened forest species (where almost all priority habitats are on private land), improved management of plantations, reform of Forestry Tasmania, retention of carbon and stopping the Gunns pulp mill.

“But until Sunday we must pressure the governments to get the best possible outcome for forest reservation on public land.

“The key problem with the HoA is that delivery of forest reserves has been de-linked from outcomes for the industry, so that there is no certainty that the HCV forest reserves will ever be delivered.

“The best chance of obtaining real and secure reserves is if they are part of a package that includes concurrent delivery for all sides - in other words, the forestry industry doesn’t get its package until we have the reserves,” Mr McGlone concluded.