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Tuesday, 25 March 1997
Page: 2385

Motion (by Senator Brown) proposed:

That the Senate—

(a)   notes that the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement:

   (i)   is a statement of intent only and has no legal effect,

   (ii)   cannot bind Parliament or fetter the exercise of executive power,

   (iii)   cannot override any statutory obligation contained in legislation,

   (iv)   does not in any way alter the obligation of the Australian Heritage Commission to carry out its statutory functions to list all those places in East Gippsland which have National Estate values, and

   (v)   erroneously assumes that the Commonwealth has met its obligations under the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975;

(b)   calls on the Australian Heritage Commission to:

   (i)   start the listing process immediately for all places in East Gippsland which it has identified as having National Estate values, and

   (ii)   start the listing process immediately for all places elsewhere in Australia which it identifies as having National Estate values in the course of any regional assessment conducted for the purpose of a regional forest agreement; and

(c)   calls on the Minister for the Environment (Senator Hill) to:

   (i)   meet his obligations to protect, immediately, those National Estate values and the places in East Gippsland which contain them,

   (ii)   provide the Senate with an explanation as to why the commission has not already fulfilled its obligations to start the listing process for those areas, and

   (iii)   ensure that the commission carries out its obligations to start the listing process for places which it identifies as having National Estate values.

   Question put:

   That the motion (Senator Brown's ) be agreed to.