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Govt denies heritage claims

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The Federal Government is rejecting environmentalists’ claims it misled the world heritage commission about the conservation values of some protected areas in Tasmania.

As part of the forest peace deal, 74,000ha of forest was included in the world heritage area.

The Federal Government wants the world heritage commission to remove it from protection, arguing much was previously logged.

The Wilderness Society has released a ministerial briefing note indicating less than 10 per cent of the area has been disturbed.

Tasmanian Labor senator, Lisa Singh, says it is clear the figures don’t back the Government’s stance.

“We don’t want to see politics played out when it comes to the protection our our forests here in Tasmania,” she said.

“They are an important part of our iconic brand and of our environment and what we have is a report by the Abbott Government’s own department which shows there has not been a significantly degraded area of our forests.”

Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck rejects that.

“The information that they are talking about is old information, and we’ve clearly said that now we have a cooperative Tasmanian government, we will be providing some more detailed information to the world heritage centre in relation to our claim,” he said.

The world heritage commission meets in Doha from next Sunday to make its final decision.