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Tasmania's forests - what is actually protected?

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Christine Milne 16 May 2013

The areas (totaling 493,482 ha, not 504,000 ha) can be broken down into the following categories:

  • World Heritage Southern Forest areas – approximately 100,000 ha – that (subject to further Legislative Council approval) could be reserved in 2013.
  • An additional 390,000 ha whose reservation is effectively postponed to the never-never as it cannot proceed before  FSC certification of Forestry Tasmania, the support of future governments after federal and Tasmanian state elections, and is provisional on durability reports from the Special Council established as part of the TFA legislation..

When the Legislative Council’s amendments passed, the TFA signatories obtained assurances from both the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments concerning issues such as special-species logging and interim management of the future reserve land. Such assurances depend on the support and good will of the governments concerned and cannot be relied upon beyond forthcoming elections.

Below is a table produced for the Australian Greens that gives a comprehensive breakdown of the areas, timeframes, conditions and exceptions attached to forest protection, as stipulated in the Tasmanian Forests Agreement legislation that passed the Parliament in April 2013.

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