Tasmania's premier tells timber workers at Ta Ann Rotary Veneer mill, Lonnadale, that government is committed to sustainable forest industry, securing jobs

Wendy Lisney

Wendy Lisney

Nov 19, 2010 – Office of the Premier of Tasmania

HOBART, Tasmainia , November 19, 2010 () – The Premier, David Bartlett, and the Deputy Premier, Lara Giddings, visited timber workers at the Ta Ann Rotary Veneer mill at Lonnadale in southern Tasmania, to report on progress and listen to workers’ thoughts and ideas.

“The work we’re doing is all about creating a sustainable forest industry, and secure jobs for the future,” Mr Bartlett said.

“There is major change coming to the forest industry, mainly caused by global markets.

“As a government, our job is to use the Statement of Principles to help create a secure industry, that gets the very best value out of every log harvested in our forests.

“The Statement of Principles is just the start of a challenging process ahead.

“But it’s a small first step towards giving Tasmanian timbers workers and their families some hope and certainty against market forces which have left many of them struggling and exposed.

“We’re determined to deliver certainty and security for workers in family-owned sawmills around Tasmania, as quickly as possible,” he said.

The Premier said he was pleased to report progress in developing an implementation process for the Statement of Principles.

“On the day I received the forestry Statement of Principles, I committed to developing an implementation process that’s open and transparent, engages the Tasmanian community, and stands up to scrutiny,” Mr Bartlett said.

“I also promised to report regularly to the community on progress, and today is part of that commitment.

“Over the past four weeks, I’ve been working with the Resources Minister, Bryan Green, and the Greens Leader, Nick McKim, to develop a governance model for implementing the Statement of Principles.

“I’m pleased to report that we’ve reached agreement, and Cabinet has approved the key elements of that governance model.

“The State Government is conducting final consultation with stakeholders, and I’ll be writing to the Australian Government in coming days, seeking their endorsement for the governance model.

“As I said on day one – we cannot do this alone. The Australian Government will be a key player in this process, and we need to ensure they fully endorse the proposed model,” he said.

The Premier expects to be able to announce more details about the governance model in the next few weeks, once the Commonwealth has considered its position.

However, key elements of the model approved by Cabinet include:

  • A Tasmanian Government sub-committee comprising of the Premier, Bryan Green and Nick McKim.
  • An independent Expert Review Panel, comprising of a Chair and two Deputy Chairs, to lead a Key Stakeholder Reference Group – which includes the 10 signatories to the Statement of Principles.
  • Working groups and advisory committees to support the work of the Expert Review Panel.
  • A transparent process, involving broad community engagement, including opportunities for the community and stakeholders to make contributions to the process.
“The Statement of Principles presents us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Mr Bartlett said.

“We’re getting on with the job of creating secure and sustainable jobs that timber workers can rely on, and a forest industry that all Tasmanians can be proud of,” he said.

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