Liberals sending mixed messages over forestry Sat 9 June 2012 Bryan Green Deputy Premier The Liberal Party is sending mixed messages to the Tasmanian community over the way forward for the State's forestry industry. Deputy Premier Bryan Green said the Liberals have at last conceded that market changes and not the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement are the causes of the industry downturn. "This contradicts everything the Liberals have been saying about the challenges facing Tasmania's forest sector," Mr Green said. "Will Hodgman has finally admitted markets are dictating the productivity and profitability of our forest industry (Advocate Newspaper, June 6, Pge 9). "For Mr Hodgman to also suggest in the same report 'this whole mess in forestry is the result of a political deal' proves beyond doubt the dishonesty of the Liberals. "Mr Gutwein continues to say the forests agreement should be torn up but it wasn't that long ago he was severely castigated by his own party for his views on forestry. "Now Mr Gutwein is refusing to acknowledge there is even a problem under the Liberal's unworkable business as usual forestry plan. "The Liberals can no longer blame the TFIA for the problems facing the industry and should now support industry, unions and environmental groups who are working towards a solution. "Mr Hodgman has also conceded he doesn't know when markets will recover. His best guess is that things will improve 'at some point in time'. "The do nothing approach the Liberals propose is clearly not an option for businesses and workers suffering now as a result of market changes. "What is happening in the market is being made even harder by the high Australian dollar and our distance from markets. "The TFIA has already supported the industry and regional communities to the tune of $100 million to assist the restructuring of the industry which would not have happened under the Liberals. "Mr Hodgman is not interested in solving the decade's long conflict in our forests that is needed to ensure we have a sustainable industry going forward. "I challenge Mr Hodgman to explain to family-owned sawmillers and the veneer industry what he would do to provide certainty for businesses and workers feeling the pain of the industry downturn. "The Government recognises it is vitally important we work towards outcomes through the TFIA that provide certainty of supply to industry long into the future. "The Liberal so-called forestry plan has absolutely no credibility because apart from recognising we have a world class forest resource it does nothing to ensure the industry's future," Mr Green said.