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Monday, 24 March 2003
Page: 13393

Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 4 February 2003:

(1) In response to Senate Estimates questions, did he say that the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) had not estimated the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that would be achieved through a prohibition on clearing of “of concern” regional ecosystems on freehold land in Queensland, all remnant native vegetation in Queensland, or remnant native vegetation in areas of Queensland with an identified dryland salinity hazard.

(2) Will he direct the AGO to undertake the necessary work to answer these questions.

Dr Kemp (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) No. Development of the National Carbon Accounting System of the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) has placed top priority on capability to estimate greenhouse emissions associated with removal of forest cover. The capability of the system to produce high calibre greenhouse emissions estimates for other types of vegetation systems (for example non-forest remnant native vegetation) is under development. Consequently, the AGO is not technically equipped at this time to produce estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from all types of `of concern' or remnant native vegetation ecosystems.