Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Tasmanian Forestry Industry

4:04 pm

Photo of Kerry O'BrienKerry O'Brien (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Transport) Share this | Hansard source

I amend the motion by deleting paragraph (d) and substituting:

(d)
calls on the Government to move quickly and take urgent measures to prevent illegal timber imports into Australia from countries like Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and provide a fair and level playing field for Tasmanian and Australian forest products in both their Australian and international markets.

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a)
notes the vital role played by the forestry industry in the Tasmanian economy, and the need to support this industry and the building of a pulp mill in Tasmania;
(b)
condemns the misrepresentation of Gunns Limited by the Rainforest Action Network which has been actively campaigning against Tasmania’s forest industry in its overseas markets, notably Japan, and which has been:
(i)
portraying to Gunns’ Japanese customers that a Tasmanian pulp mill will be a competitor for Japanese industry and actively lobbying to keep Japanese pulp mills producing at the expense of Australian investment, Australian jobs and import replacement to offset the $2 billion trade deficit in the forest and forest products sector,
(ii)
falsely claiming that Gunns’ logging practices are listed amongst the worst in the developed world according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), when in fact this is the claim made by environmental non-government organisations (NGOs) in a submission to the IUCN, and
(iii)
implicitly threatening Gunns’ Japanese customers if they do not engage in constructive dialogue with the Rainforest Action Network about their serious concerns about Gunns as a woodchips supplier;
(c)
calls on the Government to take urgent measures to address the dishonest campaigns and secondary boycott practices of environmental NGOs being used against the Tasmanian and the Australian forest and forest products industries in their Australian and international markets; and
(d)
calls on the Government to move quickly and take urgent measures to prevent illegal timber imports into Australia from countries like Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and provide a fair and level playing field for Tasmanian and Australian forest products in both their Australian and international markets.

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