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Wednesday, 12 September 1984
Page: 941


Senator CHIPP (Leader of the Australian Democrats) —by leave-I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the Senate-

(i) Notes the Australian Heritage Commission Report released today, September 12, 1984, recommends that the Wet Tropic Region of North-East Queensland ( including the Daintree Rainforest) be nominated for inclusion in the World Heritage List because it fulfils all the criteria set out in the World Heritage Convention.

(ii) Notes that the Queensland Wet Tropic Rainforests include:

the most diverse rainforests in Australia

a rare association of fringing coral reefs and rainforested coastline in the Cape Tribulation area

13 families of primitive flowering plants which give the area the highest concentration of such families on earth

the highest diversity of animal life of any area in Australia and the only habitat for numerous species that are regarded as threatened

elements of plant life that relate to the four major stages in the earth's evolutionary history, dating back more than 35 million years

important clues to the problem of origin, evolution and migration of the flowering plants

a record of the extreme effect of the Pleistocene glacial periods on tropical rainforest vegetation

the only remaining recognised Australian Aboriginal rainforest culture and therefore a significant component of the cultural record of Aboriginal society, and

many features of outstanding natural beauty.

(iii) Notes that the Queensland Government has made it clear that Queensland will not nominate any areas of Queensland for the World Heritage List

(iv) Condemns the Federal Government's response to the environmental desecration of Queensland rainforest as pathetic, a blatant political act and an abdication of responsibility for the natural heritage of this nation

(v) Calls on the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment to resign because of his total abandonment of the Daintree Rainforest.