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Tasmania in transition « Previous | |Next »
August 15, 2011

The Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) is a step away from the the old Tasmania that gnerated its wealth from resource extraction.The deal will protect 430,000ha of wild forests in the Styx, Tarkine and Huon while refocusing industry on plantations and investing $120m in regional development, with the latter dependent on the state passing legislation to protect the 430,000ha of high-conservation-value (HCV) forests.

It is a step being resisted by the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania on the grounds that it is a "crippling blow" to the forestry sector. They are prepared to scuttle the regional development funds to help diversifying the economies of affected towns.

So the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania stand opposed to the transition of the Tasmanian economy away from logging old growth forests, that has been done since early settlement in Tasmania, to a diversification of its economic activity. Their defensive strategy means that they refuse to take advantage of the current push for regional development to a Tasmania that is clean, green and clever.

The forest industry, especially its native logging sector, is in decline as the IGA is basically about transitioning native forest logging to plantation. The forest industry has historically relied on government subsidies to keep going and refuses to restructure given the shifts in the global woodchip market away from native- based products and towards plantations.

They are determined to keep hostilities going and are aiming to bring down the Giddings Government, replace it with a minority Liberal Government, and continue the forest conflict for another ten years.

We are moving to the endgame of the Gunns Pulp Mill saga when a devalued Gunns sold its strategic Triabunna woodchip mill to wealthy environmentalists Graeme Wood, of Wotif.com, and Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron to be run by Alec Marr, the long-time Wilderness Society boss.

A smart Tasmania is one that would invests in the education and health of its workforce and facilitates a cluster of computer based companies based around the NBN in addition to extending current industries like wine making, tourism or fish farming.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:05 PM |