Australian Greens senator's suspension of weekly meetings with Prime Minister highlights failure to progress conservation goals in AU$276M forestry agreement with Tasmania, says state's Green party

HOBART, Tasmania , January 11, 2012 (press release) – The Tasmanian Greens today said that Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown’s decision to suspend his weekly meetings with the Prime Minister was understandable, given growing frustration over the lack of progress in implementing the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA).

Greens Acting Leader Tim Morris MP said Senator Brown’s actions were a means of highlighting the Prime Minister’s failure to progress the conservation goals outlined in the agreement.

“The Prime Minister signed the IGA in August last year, which required the immediate protection of 430,000 hectares of high conservation value forests under a Conservation Agreement,” Mr Morris said.

“It’s now more than five months since the document was signed, and logging is continuing inside the 430,000 identified hectares.”

“Irrespective of the outcomes of the verification report, the agreement requires those forests to be protected as Informal Reserves, and the Greens’ expect this commitment to be upheld.”

“If existing logging contracts cannot be met with timber from outside the 430,000 hectares, then the agreement requires the payment of compensation, not continued logging,” Mr Morris said.

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