Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

21 March 2016

Peter Gutwein, Minister for Forestry

Government committed to working with the special species timber industry

The Government is committed to working with Tasmania’s special species timber industry in order to secure supply.

There’s no doubt that the special species sector has been left in a very difficult situation as a result of the additional World Heritage lockup by Labor and the Greens.

In response to yesterday’s announcement by the UN, the Government is taking the following action:

  1. Building on the Special Species resource assessment already completed for Permanent Timber Production Zone Land by moving swiftly on resource assessment across the other accessible public land tenures, including the Future Potential Production Forest Land;
  2. Finalising and enhancing the market demand study for special species timber;
  3. Building on the partnership with UTAS to gain a clear understanding of the qualities, properties and application of special species timber that can be harvested from Hydro Tasmania storages.

While obviously the UN decision announced yesterday was not what the special species timber industry had hoped for, we accept the umpire’s decision and the Government is determined to work with the sector to ensure it has a sustainable future.

I have met this morning with representatives of the special species timber industry and have spoken to members of the Ministerial Advisory Council to discuss a way forward. 

Essentially, the way forward is to develop a better understanding of the supply available and the demand for special species timbers, while also looking to innovate through gaining a clear understanding of the resource that is potentially available from Hydro Tasmania storages.

The special species sector is one of our most iconic industries and the Government will work constructively to ensure a brighter future.

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