Negotiations responding to the crisis in the native forest logging industry today collapsed due to the unwillingness of Forest Industry Association of Tasmania and the old growth sawmilling sector to move itself onto a sustainable footing and no longer log World Heritage-verified forests.
Changes in the market place over the last five years have demonstrated that forest products sourced from old growth and high conservation-value forests are no longer acceptable. Like Gunns before them, the oldgrowth sawmillers need to realise that the market has moved on and will no longer accept controversial wood.
Environmental Non-Goverment Organisations (eNGOs) will now look to the market place to convince the Industry that change must come urgently and forest protection is essential.
Despite the collapse of the talks, eNGOs congratulated the ongoing constructive efforts of the forestry union, Timber Communities Australia, Regional Sawmillers and contractor organisations for their continued willingness to try to achieve a resolution to the conflict and a sustainable future for the industry and the jobs and livelihoods that depend on it.
We acknowledge that both the State and Commonwealth Governments have been willing to provide the funding necessary for industry restructure, support and regional development and help deliver comprehensive conservation and community outcomes. The eNGOs thanked the government for their role.