THE long-awaited forest deal is now into its fourth extension, but an interim agreement that hinges on Forestry Tasmania modelling has been released by environment and timber group signatories.
The groups, following meetings with both state and federal government ministers, have now given themselves “four to six weeks” to cement a deal.
If it can be sealed they have not ruled out a trade delegation to overseas markets to collectively assure customers there will be “lasting peace” in Tasmanian forests.
They have also hinted at “incentives” to make sure neither side of the debate renews protest action or hostilities should an agreement be reached.
Forest Industries Association of Tasmania chief executive Terry Edwards declined to detail yesterday what either side had compromised since the most recent FT modelling showed wood supply and extra forest reservation objectives could not be met.
Mr Edwards said there was a clear expectation a deal could be finalised next month, with the next FT modelling to go “right down to the coup level”.
He declined to go into specifics about forest areas such as the Tarkine.
Mr Edwards said while cynics would undoubtably read the interim agreement as simply another extension, progress had been made on a number of fronts.
This included “durability” clauses such as grievance procedures and dispute mechanisms that would help bind both parties to a lasting resolution.
It remained unclear whether environment groups would be promised ongoing reservation in instalments if they could prove their international market campaigns had been abandoned.
The durability clauses would help prevent “people hanging off trees or hanging off machinery” in protest, Mr Edwards said.
Environment Tasmania spokesman Dr Phill Pullinger stopped short of saying whether his group, along with the Australian Conservation Foundation and Wilderness Society, would “denounce” radical protest groups if the international Tassie timber trashing campaigns resumed post any deal.
“This is not just about an agreement for today, it’s about a long-term partnership,” Dr Pullinger said.
Liberal forestry spokesman Peter Gutwein said the job- destroying agreement should be binned.
“We all know that peace will never be delivered,” Mr Gutwein said.
“This has gone on for two years.”
Key players in the forestry peace deal process at a media conference in Hobart yesterday are (from left) Britton Brothers director Glenn Britton, Forest Industries Association of Tasmania chief executive Terry Edwards and Environment Tasmania spokesman Phill Pullinger.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.