Dec 1, 2004

Environment: Tasmanian Forests


1 December 2004

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (9.35 a.m.) —I move:

Under standing order 47, that so much of standing orders be suspended as would allow the government to table the maps and precise boundaries for the 170,000 hectares of Tasmanian old growth forests it will protect in accordance with the deadline of December 1 stated in its own policy.

During the election campaign, the Tasmanian forests and the need to protect them became a major issue. The Howard government declared in its own policy, A Sustainable Future for Tasmania, that it would identify 170,000 hectares of old growth forest in Tasmania and protect it. That was backed up by a personal visit by the Prime Minister to Tasmania on 6 October. The Prime Minister stated at a press conference in Launceston: `The Tasmanian Environment Minister and Senator Campbell will get together and have the details of the government’s Tasmanian forest policy, including the precise boundaries, settled by 1 December.’ We now know, because of the government’s failure to do that, that it was a stunt. It was a grubby political trick. They have had nine years to get their act together.

Mr PEARCE (Aston—Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (9.37 a.m.)—I move:

That the member be not further heard.

Question put:

That the motion (Mr Pearce’s) be agreed to.

The House divided. [9.41 a.m.]