Milestone for forestry peace deal

The State Government has outlined how new forest reserves will be created if a peace deal is struck.

Long-awaited peace deal legislation has been tabled in Parliament to meet a Commonwealth deadline.

As expected, the legislation does not detail which forests will be protected from logging because environmental and industry groups are yet to strike a final agreement.

The bill also allows the Government to change the amount of wood it will supply sawmillers, if the groups agree on a different quantity.

The Resources Minister, Bryan Green, says it gives the negotiations space.

"If the signatories come back with a different figure of course of we'll consider that and I will amend it on that basis," he said.

If passed by Parliament, an immediate protection order will be placed over the forests to be reserved from logging, while the boundaries are verified and the reserves are finalised.

Industry and conservationists negotiating an agreement have until July 23 to strike a deal.

The Government will not attempt to pass the bill until a deal is reached.

Labor and the Greens defeated a Opposition attempt to force the Premier to explain why the Government has tabled incomplete legislation.

Opposition Leader Will Hodgman moved to suspend normal Parliamentary proceedings after confirming the bill did not identify which forests would be protected.

He said the uncertainty in the forest industry would continue.

The Premier, Lara Giddings, told Parliament the Government was fostering a peace agreement to deal with the industry downturn.

"Not one stunt, not one of your stunts, is going to help the people who are suffering through the forest industry," she said.

"Markets have changed.

The Greens leader, Nick McKim, said there would be plenty of time to scrutinise the legislation when Parliament resumed after the eight-week winter break.

"No-one ever thought it was going to be an easy process but what many, many people have committed to do is giving it our best shot...there is no cork-popping around here," he said.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9332+0.0005+0.06%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5556+0.0003+0.05%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6754+0.0002+0.03%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg