Originally published in Crikey on November 29, 2012

The newly-inked Tasmanian Forest Agreement has been hailed by many as a historic breakthrough that provides Tasmania with an opportunity to end the divisive “forest wars” and remake the state’s ailing economy. In truth, it is a case study in how not to make policy. By handing over the responsibility for resolving the dispute to two groups that sit at either end of the debate — the forest lobby and green groups — the Tasmanian government has overlooked the interests of those in the middle; the Tasmanian public. As a result, insufficient attention has been paid to how the forests can be best used to advance the interests of the community.

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