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Joint Statement
Minister for the Environment,
Senator Robert Hill

Minister for Primary Industries and Energy,
John Anderson

Minister for Forests,
John Beswick

Minister for Environment and Land Management,
Peter Hodgman

Tasmanian Coat of Arms

Ministers Welcome Options Paper for Tasmanian RFA


24 April 1997

The Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments are inviting all organisations and individuals with an interest in the State's forests to comment on an options paper released today for the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA).

The Federal Minister for the Environment, Robert Hill and the Federal Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Anderson, joined Tasmania's Minister for Forests, John Beswick and Minister for Environment and Land Management, Peter Hodgman, in welcoming the paper, "Options for the Tasmanian RFA: A Strategic Approach".

"Tasmania is well on track for a final agreement by the end of June which will give a new certainty for both industry and the environment," the Ministers said.

"The participation of key stakeholder groups and interested members of the general public has been essential to the progress of the RFA so far.

"Both Governments are keen to see their input continuing as the report circulates in the community.

The report is based on the most thorough scientific assessment ever conducted of all the uses and values of Tasmania's forests, integrating a vast body of data and new research with contributions from a broad range of interest groups.

It evaluates four strategic approaches to achieving the RFA's three broad objectives - to provide long term certainty of wood supply and thereby stimulate jobs and growth opportunities in a competitive forest industry, to ensure Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management practices are in place, and to establish a world class conservation reserve system.

The Ministers stressed that the four approaches were not mutually exclusive, nor were they designed to be discrete scenarios.

"Both Governments are keen to achieve a balanced outcome and will take a flexible approach," they said.

"We want to see long term certainty for sustainable timber, mining, tourism and other industries, for conservation and heritage values, and for the rural communities which depend on forests and the flow-on benefits of a healthy industry."

The Ministers thanked the Public Land Use Commission, which will accept submissions on the report on behalf of the joint steering committee.

The report also outlines the statutory or policy provisions needed to secure the outcomes of the RFA for its 20-year duration.

Contacts:

Matt Brown (Senator Hill's Office) (06) 277 7640
Robert Haynes (Mr Anderson's Office) (06) 277 7520
John Chilcott (Mr Beswick's Office) (03) 6233 6653
Reid Thomas (Mr Hodgman's Office) (03) 6233 3466

The full report is available on the internet, on:
http://www.environment.gov.au/land/forests/cra/tas/options/contents.html

Commonwealth of Australia