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Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement
The Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement is designed to support the forest industry in the state to progressively transition to a more sustainable and diversified footing and to build regional economic diversity and community resilience; and it aims to improve conservation outcomes.
Signed by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings on 7 August 2011 the agreement aims to provide certainty for Tasmania’s forestry industry, support local jobs and communities, and protect additional forest areas.
Under the agreement a total of $277 million, including $15 million from the State Government, will be provided in the following key areas:
- $85 million to support contractors and their families affected by the downturn in the industry, and in particular Gunns Limited’s decision to exit native forest harvesting
- Including $45 million under the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement Contractors Voluntary Exit Grants Program
- $43 million to facilitate protection of new areas of high conservation value forests
- $120 million over 15 years, including an initial payment of $20 million to identify and fund appropriate regional development projects
- $7 million per annum ongoing to manage new reserves
An Independent Verification Group established to provide advice to the Prime Minister and the Tasmanian Premier on sustainable timber supply requirements and areas and boundaries of reserves from within the ENGO–nominated 572,000 hectares of High Conservation Value native forest provided its report on 23 March 2012 (see link as below in deleted section).
Australian Government’s response to the statement of principles on Tasmanian forests — December 2010
The Australian Government welcomed the new relationship between industry, union and environmental organisations to develop the Tasmanian forests statement of principles to lead to an agreement, as a positive step toward balancing the conservation and sustainable development and management of Tasmania’s forest resources.
To support the Statement of principles, the Australian Government worked with the Tasmanian Government to undertake an initial due diligence assessment and jointly appointed an independent facilitator, Mr Bill Kelty AC, to work with the signatories to develop an implementation plan.
The Australian Government tabled the interim report from Mr Bill Kelty in the Australian Parliament on 5 April 2011.
The due diligence assessment included the preparation of a report by the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry titled:
- Socioeconomic impacts of forest industry change: a baseline study of the Tasmanian forest industry PDF [6.3mb] *;
and a report by Forestry Tasmania titled:
- Evaluation of Wood Resource Scenarios relevant to the Tasmanian Forests Statement of Principles to lead to an Agreement – Final Report to Signatories PDF [1.9mb] *.
Professor Jerry Vanclay (Southern Cross University) and Professor Cris Brack (Waiariki Institute of Technology, NZ) were appointed to conduct an independent review of Forestry Tasmania’s Sustainable Yield Systems as part of due diligence assessment to verify wood resource scenarios:
Further verification work has been undertaken in accordance with the Heads of Agreement signed on 24 July 2011 and Intergovernmental Agreement signed on 7 August 2011.
* These publications were not prepared by the department and may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines. If you require an accessible version of these publications, please contact their author.
Gunns Limited pulp mill proposal
The department received an FOI application seeking access to documents regarding a potential Joint Venture Partner, financier, investor and/or investment by any third party for the Gunns Ltd proposed pulp mill. The applicant has been advised that some of the documentation sought has been exempted in full.
The information released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Ref: FOI 2010/11-57) is:
- Article - Premier backs mill to the hilt PDF [105kb]
- Article - Gunns Woos Asian giants PDF [48kb]
- Article - Pulp mill start aim next month PDF [48kb]
- Article - Opposition to Tamar pulp mill 'inevitable' PDF [40kb]
- Article/Email - Gunns Mill Critical to Talks PDF [61kb]
The department received an FOI application seeking access to documents, in connection with an agreement on the Tasmanian forests, which deal with compensating Gunns Limited for having decided to exit native forests production and/or give up its wood supply quotas.
The information released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Ref: FOI 2011/12-10) is:
- Question Time brief - Tasmanian forestry - Gunns pulp mill PDF [432kb]
- Senate Hansard - Question Time - 15 July 2011 PDF [345kb]
- Ministerial correspondence - Referral from PM&C (03880) PDF [288kb]
- Ministerial correspondence - Referral from PM&C (11-05365) PDF [320kb]
- Media release - Conservation groups unite: to support a logging moratorium and reject the Gunns' proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill PDF [318kb]
29 May 2012