14 September, 2012

Second forestry group leaves peace talks

ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), Fri Sep 14, 2012

A second industry player has walked out of the Tasmanian forest peace talks over the State Government's plan to restructure Forestry Tasmania.

Acting Premier Bryan Green wants to create a statutory authority to take control of production forests from the state-owned company.

The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (FIAT) walked away yesterday and now the Australian Forest Products Association has joined it.

The association says it is an unnecessary proposal that undermines the peace process.

Its representative in the talks is Hans Drielsma, a former general manager of Forestry Tasmania.

The Forestry Union says work on the Tasmanian peace talks will continue despite the industry groups refusing to return to the negotiations.

The union's Jane Calvert says it does not spell the end of the peace talks which have been trying to resolve the state's decades-long forest wars.

Ms Calvert also believes FIAT's actions will not delay the signing of a final deal.

"There's a process going on at the moment of running a voluntary exit program and some modelling being done," she said.

"So we're actually not around a negotiating table as we speak this week, or next, but we're not withdrawing from the process.

"So as soon as that work's done we'll be back in, sleeves rolled up and I hope by then FIAT has its assurances and is able to join us."

The Forest Contractor's Association is also sticking with the peace talks.

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