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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Report To Help Ensure Beekeeping Future -

Report To Help Ensure Beekeeping Future - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

A report that will help planning for the future of Tasmania?s honey industry has been released.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, Bryan Green, said the Tasmanian Apiary Industry Profile provides a valuable snapshot of the industry and a platform to help address ongoing management issues.

It gives comprehensive information on Tasmanian beekeeping via an industry-wide census and shows the importance of different flora to honey producers

?Information of this nature is vitally important to beekeepers, land managers, honey producers and pollinators,? Mr Green said.

Mr Green said he was also willing to look at initiatives to help put the beekeeping industry on a stronger commercial footing through more secure licensing of sites.

He said it was important for the industry to build on the outcomes of the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement.

?We are now in a good position to consolidate the industry and move forward.

?Commercial forest operations provide the means for leatherwood beekeepers to access the resource and that has been greatly enhanced through the Community Forest Agreement.

?As part of the Agreement, $3 million has been allocated to improving access to special species timber stands within Special Timber Management Units (STMUs) in State forests through low-impact roading.

?Aerial reconnaissance to identify possible leatherwood sites will be conducted over summer and will involve beekeepers.?

Mr Green said the low-impact roading would provide access to STMUs, which contain special species timber, including leatherwood, managed on long-term rotations.

?This is about securing the resource and making it accessible for beekeepers to provide sustainable supplies of leatherwood honey.

?It will also improve access to long-term supplies of special species timbers for Tasmania?s furniture and craft industries.?

Mr Green said there needed to be a balance between the range of interests in State forest, remembering that 60 per cent of Tasmania?s leatherwood was now formally protected in reserves.

?Forest reserves in Tasmania have increased five-fold in a generation, which is why we need to ensure honey producers continue to get access to leatherwood on both State forest and in existing reserves.?

The industry profile, commissioned by the Forests and Forest Industry Council of Tasmania, showed the majority of Tasmania?s annual honey production worth about $4 million came from leatherwood.

?Changes to harvesting practices also mean more mature leatherwood is retained for apiarists in our multiple use forests.

?These reforms, along with more certain and long-term tenure, will produce a stable investment base for the Industry.?

Mr Green said close consultation within the apiary industry and with all stakeholders would be the key to successfully developing the industry.


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