Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

IF Re­sources Min­is­ter Guy Bar­nett is se­ri­ous in his claim that jobs are the num­ber one pri­or­ity for the Hodg­man Gov­ern­ment, then his fo­cus surely should be on the tourism in­dus­try (“Forestry jobs data hailed, as­sailed”, Mer­cury, Novem­ber 21).

This is where the jobs of the fu­ture are, they cer­tainly aren’t in forestry. The Gov­ern­ment has­tened the de­cline of the forestry in­dus­try when it tore up the hard-won forestry agree­ment upon tak­ing of­fice, against the best ad­vice and urg­ing of in­dus­try lead­ers, con­ser­va­tion­ists, and public opin­ion. It was a de­ci­sion that made no sense, and has zero eco­nomic ben­e­fit.

Tourism is now far more im­por­tant for Tas­ma­nia’s econ­omy, and em­ploys con­sid­er­ably more peo­ple.

Mr Bar­nett needs to se­ri­ously re­flect on why so many peo­ple choose to visit Tas­ma­nia. The rea­son, as so many travel and tourism ar­ti­cles have con­firmed in re­cent months, is to ex­pe­ri­ence our unique na­tive forests and wilder­ness re­gions; price­less nat­u­ral as­sets he, and his col­leagues, sadly still ap­pear to con­sider of so lit­tle value. Anne Lay­ton-Ben­nett Swan Bay

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