Senate debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Regulations and Determinations

Industry Research and Development (Forestry Recovery Development Fund Program) Instrument 2020; Disallowance

6:53 pm

Photo of Jonathon DuniamJonathon Duniam (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries) Share this | Hansard source

I reckon it's because the forests are still there, in response to Senator Siewert's question—

Senator Rice interjecting—

'Decimated'? Why am I going to engage with people who are not going to listen to reason at all? They have no idea when it comes to sustainable, well-managed, world-leading forests. There's a head-in-the-sand approach to what is the world's best forest industry. Let's remember a former member of the Tasmanian parliament, Peg Putt, who made a full-time career out of travelling into foreign markets to damage the brand of a sustainable industry. I think the organisation was called Markets for Change. Do you know what? They changed from sustainable, well-managed forest resources and estates, where science underpinned what was done, to markets where they ripped trees out of the ground and didn't replant them.

In fact, Senator Rice, on the issue of invitations, while I'm trying to convince my colleagues that this is one of the worst disallowances that has ever come across the table in this chamber, I'd love for you to come down the Arve River with me. There's a coupe down there that a group called Environment Tasmania had custody of. They were given funds by the taxpayers of Australia to reforest this particular coupe. It's in the heart of World Heritage wilderness. It's barren. They believe that the practices the forest industry put in place are wrong. If you go to the forestry coupe next door that Sustainable Timbers Tasmania, formerly Forestry Tasmania, and contractors managed, you wouldn't know it was ever harvested. But come down and see what ET, Environment Tasmania, these bleeding heart antijob people did to this piece of land. It is barren. There is erosion. You wouldn't know—

Senator Rice interjecting—

Look, come on down to my office after this and we'll look at Google Earth and you can see what your friends have done. You don't care about the environment. You certainly don't care about jobs in regional communities, from downtown Melbourne. Please accept my invitation—anyone: come into my office and we'll look at Google Earth together. Vote against this ridiculous disallowance, support hardworking men and women in this industry and reopen our economy when we need it most. Stop the madness.


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