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Adam Morton – November 3, 2010

ENVIRONMENT groups have attacked the opposition’s forestry policy, accusing it of planning to intensify logging to a rate that could turn Central Highlands native forests into plantations.

The Coalition says it will guarantee the forestry industry’s long-term future by promising current levels of native forest logging could continue. It would also review the frequency at which forests of fast-growing native species are logged.

The Wilderness Society and Australian Conservation Foundation said the Coalition’s policy was at odds with a push for employers, unions and environmentalists to follow Tasmania’s lead in working on a joint peace deal.

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The forestry union has joined activists in calling for a similar process in Victoria.

Coalition agriculture spokesman Peter Walsh said logging rates would only be changed if it was backed by scientists from the Department of Sustainability and Environment.