Upper House forestry vote looking tight

The vote on Tasmania's forestry peace deal bill in the state's Upper House remains tight.

Debate in the Legislative Council resumed today.

The vote sits at five for and three against, with the bill requiring the support of eight members to become law.

Of those left to declare their voting intentions, three are expected to vote no.

Launceston MLC Rosemary Armitage indicated she will support the forest peace bill.

"Will the Tasmanian forest agreement bring and end to bitter conflict?" "Well only time will tell, but can I stand here and say that I won't give peace a chance because I don't believe there will be peace? "I hope there will be peace and at this time, unless further speakers can convince me otherwise, I will give peace a chance." The legislation will significantly downsize the native timber industry and allow for the protection of half a million hectares of forest from logging.

The sole Liberal MLC Vanessa Goodwin has been joined by the Western Tiers Independent Greg Hall in speaking against the plan.

Mr Hall says the peace plan brokered between environmentalists and the forest industry has excluded everyday Tasmanians.

"I am really pissed off with this whole deal," he said.

"What was the mandate for these people doing deals behind closed doors and to the exclusion of so many other interested parties to determine future land use in Tasmania? "They had no skin in the game, their money was not at risk, yet they split the landscape between them as if they were feudal warlords." The Member for Apsley in Tasmania's north-east, Tanya Rattray, emotionally voted against the move, saying it is the hardest thing she has done in her life.

"Are we putting the trees before people because it feels like that's what's happening." But Hobart MLC Rob Valentine says it is an important step to ending the "toxic" forest debate.

"The plan B is not there, the other options aren't pretty and I think we should support this bill."

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