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Statement from Environment Minister on Tasmanian forestry

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The Hon Tony Burke MP Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Statement from Environment Minister on Tasmanian forestry

Media release 31 March 2011

The Gillard Government has today received an interim report from Mr Bill Kelty who is facilitating progress on the Statement of Principles agreed between conservation groups, the CFMEU and the timber industry in Tasmania.

We thank Mr Kelty for his hard work with signatories to the agreement in identifying the next steps in the process.

The Government will now consider findings and recommendations in Mr Kelty's report.

The Government expects to respond to Mr Kelty's report in coming weeks.

The Gillard Government is committed to working with the Tasmanian community to respond to the challenges facing the forest industry.

It is a credit to those involved that after decades of conflict they have been able to start to work through those challenges.

The Statement of Principles started with community and industry groups coming together. It is not an agreement between governments.

But it will only stay together if the determination that started that process is maintained by the groups involved.

The Gillard Government believes an agreement would be a good result for jobs and a good result for the environment in Tasmania.

In October last year, the Tasmanian forestry industry and several environmental non government organisations reached an historic high level principals agreement for protecting native forests and developing a sustainable timber industry in Tasmania.

The Gillard Government welcomed the landmark agreement and in December last year appointed Mr Kelty as independent facilitator to assist signatories to progress the agreement and report back to the Government.