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All signatory groups involved in the discussions to implement the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement today called for cool heads and clear space for negotiations to progress.
Together the groups have agreed to enter into negotiations to attempt in good faith to find a sustainable path forward for industry, workers and local communities, and the environment, and together are calling for their members and constituents to support the negotiations.
The Wilderness Society, Environment Tasmania, and the Australian Conservation Foundation, Australia's major state and national environment groups with a focus on Tasmania's forests, are urging buyers of current Tasmanian forests products to not make any decisions that would adversely affect Tasmanian suppliers during the period of the negotiations.
The Environment Groups say that successful negotiations over the next few months hold the real prospect of protecting important forest areas and identifying a sustainable wood supply with broad community support and these important negotiations should be given every chance.
The Tasmanian Forestry industries represented by the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (FIAT), the Tasmanian Sawmillers Association, and the Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association and at the national level by the Australian Forest Products Association and Australian Forest Contractors Association have worked together with all signatories to successfully identify the needed elements of a durability package to ensure that a successful agreement will have lasting benefits and FIAT is now entering the negotiations.
They note that the IGA Conservation Agreement approved by both Federal and State governments sets the terms for the current wood supply.
For Timber Communities Australia an Agreement is important to end the uncertainty for Tasmanian communities.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, representing timber workers says that pressure from the high Australian dollar and changed domestic and international markets are causing a restructure of the industry.
The Union says that the recent independent expert reports commissioned by the Tasmanian and Commonwealth governments showed that flexibility will be required by all signatories to find a negotiated outcome that can deliver a sustainable industry and jobs for a better future for Tasmania.
The signatories are calling on all parties, on all sides of the conflict to give the impending negotiations the best chance of success by refraining from any activities that could be seen to be deliberately provocative and are urging clear space for all as the negotiations now commence.