Friday, 12 March 2010 7:02 AM

Timber Development and Marketing Authority Bill Withdrawn

Parliament has withdrawn the Timber Development and Marketing Authority Bill.

The Timber Development and Marketing Authority Bill was intended to establish an authority to facilitate buying and selling of timber harvested by local communities and to market timber at international prices.

It was also to serve as an advisory body for communities in areas of forest plantation management, best timber harvesting practices and timber export specifications.

The Authority would also assist management and development of forest plantations, reforestation programs and to provide financial assistance to communities within the objectives of the Bill.

Parliament saw fit to establish an Authority given the projected drop in the country's GDP if commercially valuable forests are logged out. It is not known what impact this withdrawal will have on the development of the local timber community in Solomon Islands.

Meanwhile, Forestry Minister Job Dudley Tausinga says the consultation process for the Timber Development and Marketing Authority Bill is yet to be completed, hence the bill's withdrawal.

Mr Tausinga also said the withdrawal does not mean the Bill is not feasible, "but rather there is no guarantee the Bill will be re-introduced in Parliament during this sitting."

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