Next step for forestry peace deal

Legislation to seal Tasmania's historic forestry peace deal is expected to pass the Lower House tonight with Greens support.

Lara Giddings says she fully backs the agreement between the forest industry and environmental groups to end the conflict.

The legislation is set to pass the Lower House with Greens support.

The peace deal agreement was finalised yesterday by all signatories except Timber Communities Australia which wants to take it to its members.

The once-warring parties want half a million hectares of forest protected from logging, and the sawlog industry reduced by more than half.

The groups say it must be implemented in full, along with requests for more money to compensate people who lose their jobs through the change.

Ms Giddings says she will legislate to make the change and work with the Federal Government to secure extra funding.

"We have the opportunity to provide stability and security for a sustainable forest industry," she said.

"We have the opportunity to build on Tasmania's unique wilderness heritage.

"We have the opportunity to create jobs and rebuild communities and I'm determined to grasp those opportunities." Lara Giddings says it is an historic day for Tasmania and she thanked the peace deal negotiators.

The Forestry Industry Association's Terry Edwards hopes it will end the conflict.

"It is time to heal the divisions and try and have an industry that is supported by the people of Tasmania, supported by environment groups and that can market its products international, local and international markets with confidence and without being under siege from a range of different protest groups," he said.

The Wilderness Society's Vica Bayley says areas to be protected include disputed southern forests like the Styx, the Weld and Florentine.

"These are all the areas that people have campaigned for, rallied for, written letters for and wanted to see protected for many, many decades so it is a ground breaking day." "We are comfortable that this is a comprehensive conservation outcome for Tasmania." Jane Calvert from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says it is critical to give the deal some breathing room.

"If people start jumping out of the box day one, week one, month one and start unpicking the bits that they think are less desirable to their particular patch, ten the thing as a whole won't work," she said.

"Will have wasted a massive opportunity to make things better for workers, families, communities and the economy."

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