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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1374

Senator WALTERS(12.03) —I do not think that the memorandum of understanding is referred to anywhere in the Bill. But I heard Senator Gietzelt refer to the fact that, under the memorandum of understanding, considerations on the Lemonthyme area have to be referred to the Minister. I will just read from the appendix attached to the memorandum because if that is what the Minister said, it is not true. The memorandum says:

Export licences will include a condition that . . . Forest Operations in the Lemonthyme will be in accordance with the Management Plan for the Lemonthyme State Forest 1983.

That has nothing to do with needing the agreement of the Minister; so the Minister's brief is wrong. What is said, for instance, about the Mole Creek area-and let me distinguish between the two areas-is this:

Forest operations will be in accordance with special management guidelines prepared taking account of the recommendations of the Kiernan Karst studies, and the views of the Minister for Primary Industry on protection of the National Estate values.

That concerns the Mole Creek area, not the Lemonthyme Valley. The views of the Minister for Primary Industry have to be sought on that area. Things concerning the Lemonthyme Valley do not have to be so referred. On export licences, the memorandum just says that it has to be in accordance with the management plan for the Lemonthyme Valley. There was great acknowledgment that that management plan was being undertaken because page 2 of the memorandum that was signed by Mr Kerin-honourable senators should remember that-for the Government says:

In entering into this Memorandum, the Commonwealth recognises the professionalism and competence of the Tasmanian Forestry Commission and accepts that the Tasmanian Government acting through the Tasmanian Forestry Commission will duly and efficiently perform the many activities necessary on its part to give effect to this Memorandum.

It acknowledges that the Forestry Commission is acting in accordance with the memorandum. It rules out any interference with the Lemonthyme. It does not rule it out for Mole Creek. That is one of the areas on which matters must be referred back to the Minister for his views, but on the Lemonthyme they do not. The Lemonthyme was specifically set apart and export licences were able to be used in that area by a memorandum signed by the Federal Government and the State Tasmanian Government. Now the Minister has said in his speech that it is necessary to get his view. That is not correct.