You are here

Forestry Bill - Threat to Tourism

14 March 2017

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

Do you acknowledge that your draft legislation to allow logging in 356 000 hectares of high conservation value carbon-rich forest is a threat to Tasmania's growing visitor economy and its brand? While your Government has removed two coupes that adjoin the Three Capes Track from the logging list in tacit acknowledgement that logging harms tourism, it would allow logging along the Wielangta tourist drive, near the Bay of Fires and Binalong Bay, at Ben Nevis and Leven Canyon in the north-west, waterfall walks around the Cradle Mountain area that operators advertise and along the route of the West Coast Wilderness Railway. Your unjustified and unjustifiable Forest Destruction Bill will also allow logging through the Blue Derby mountain bike trail and the north-east rail trail proposal which your Government has legislated to enable run straight through a forested area and which your Government is now legislating to log.

Premier, if you can move to protect visitors to the Three Capes Walk from seeing the charred wasteland of your Government's logging operations, why can't you do the same for these numerous other tourism assets?


ANSWER
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question.

Greens members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, the member has asked a question and the Premier is attempting to answer it.

Mr HODGMAN - Yes, it is the Government's view that we can balance the competitive strengths within our economy to include a forestry industry that we are rebuilding and a tourism industry that is booming like never before. The member for Denison raises, by way of example, what is happening at Derby and the upcoming internationally renowned Enduro World Series mountain bike event that will be occurring shortly. It is a great example of the forest industry working alongside our booming visitor economy. That is a project that has been developed through a supportive arrangement between Forestry Tasmania consulting with the community and they have managed very carefully and sensitively an arrangement where Tasmania will host the World Series Enduro championship event in April of this year. That is a wonderful example of how government can work with our forest manager and support growth in our tourism industry and our visitor economy -

Greens members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. The Premier will resume and ignore the interjections.

Mr HODGMAN - It is hard to ignore the hypocrisy of the member for Lyons who was part of a government whose policy agenda was to shut down the forest industry.

Greens members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.

Mr HODGMAN - That was the alternative. A tourism industry; no forest industry. That was the alternative offered by the Labor Party at the last election in combination with the Greens and that was an election agenda that failed and was not supported by the Tasmanian people.

Greens members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. I warn members opposite; cease your interjections.

Mr HODGMAN - Madam Speaker, we will talk a little more about our plan to grow the forest industry but I can say it is in direct contrast to the -

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I just draw the Premier's attention to the question which is that if coups can be removed along the Three Capes Track -

Madam SPEAKER - No, the member will resume her seat immediately. It is not a point of order. Resume your seat or I will eject.

Ms O'CONNOR - Well -

Madam SPEAKER - No. Do not answer back either.

Mr HODGMAN - Madam Speaker, we will deliver on our commitment and that is what the legislation we are tabling in this Parliament will do; the commitment that we took to the Tasmanian people that they voted upon. It will secure an available resource that is more commercially sustainable and does not rely on the sorts of subsidies to the forest industry that Labor and the Greens want to continue. It will allow us access to wood and of course it will be managed in accordance with the usual forest production plans, environmental standards and it will be done so under the context that we believe that our primary industries, resource based industries, including forestry, can exist alongside a booming visitor economy.