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New South Wales 'Forest Agreement' to be the subject of early state/Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting - Tuckey



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T h e H o n o u r a b l e W i l s o n T u c k e y MP

Minister for Forestry and Conservation

MEDIA RELEASE

26 October 1998 -

NEW SOUTH WALES “FOREST AGREEMENT” TO BE THE SUBJECT OF EARLY STATE/COMMONWEALTH MINISTERIAL MEETING - TUCKEY

The Federal Minister for Forestry and Conservation, Wilson Tuckey MP said today that he had a brief discussion with NSW Planning Minister, Craig Knowles, prior to today’s release of the New South Wales Government announcement on Eden forests. Mr Knowles had agreed to early Commonwealth-State discussions on NSW Regional Forest Agreements.

“The Commonwealth will need to closely examine today’s announcement of an ‘agreement’ by NSW,” Mr Tuckey said. “I am curious to know just who are the parties to this ‘agreement.’

“The proposed sawlog supply level of 25,000 cubic metres, reducing to 24,000 cubic metres after five years, is a reduction on the current wood supply to the industry. This also implies a significant reduction in the level of pulpwood harvesting.

“The Commonwealth will be looking at the effect this will have on the industry, on employment and on communities in the region. We will want to be certain about the viability of transporting 2,000 cubic metres of timber from other forest areas, and about the long-term sustainability of the jobs claimed by NSW.

“It is also unclear whether the areas identified for timber production can supply the necessary timber volume over the recognised 80-year rotation required for sustainable forest management.

“I will take up our assessment of these issues with Mr Knowles and his colleagues when we meet,” Mr Tuckey said. “The Commonwealth remains interested in concluding Regional Forest Agreements for the remaining NSW forest regions, subject to NSW demonstrating a willingness to enter genuine negotiations.”

Media contact: Norm Haywood (02) 6277 7270