Australian government backs Tasmania forestry law

13 May 2013

Australia’s government is to pump A$94.5m new funding into a forestry law which will wean timber companies off native hardwood timber.

The government’s cash injection, as part of the new Tasmanian Forestry Agreement, will be spread over five years.

About A$60m will be directed towards sawmillers, haulage and harvest contractors who stop using native hardwood timbers in Tasmania. Money will also be used to pay for buying back wood supply contracts and establishing an investment fund to support the plantation timber industry.

Tasmania’s forestry industry has been at the centre of a long-running dispute with environmentalists over the sustainability of harvesting practices in the state.

Earlier this month a new Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement was signed by Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and Tasmanian state premier Lara Giddings in order to support the Tasmanian Forests Agreement.

The latter was passed by the Tasmania parliament on April 30 but still needs royal assent.