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Monday, 19 November 2012
Page: 9049


Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery) (18:05): The easiest way to explain it without doing injustice to Senator Milne is that Senator Milne's model is an interventionist, prescriptive model. The model that is before the Senate today is a due diligence model. It is a framework. They are different, so they are like comparing oranges and applies, to give an analogy from our agriculture minister. Senator Milne's prescription would not operate in a risk framework system. Why? It is because if you adopted an interventionist, prescriptive model then you would have a whole different type of legislative underpinning for it. If you then tried to stick it into a risk based model like this one, it would sit there with a range of onerous requirements that could never be met by importers for legally logged timber, let alone illegally logged timber, and the system would not operate.

The way that this matrix system works is the same way it works for Customs, the same way it works for business and the same way it works for a range of other industries that manage risks. It is about identifying those risks, gathering the information about those risks and having a compliance framework to deal with those risks. You are effectively asking me to compare two different systems. I have rejected the earlier system, which was a prescriptive system, as being unworkable. I think the Senate committee also adopted that, or maybe it was around the other way. Maybe the Senate suggested that a risk based system was far more user-friendly, far more able to be operated and would also achieve the aim, which is critically important—that is, minimising the importation of illegally logged timber.