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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 7992

Senator MILNE (TasmaniaDeputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (15:51): I seek leave to make a short statement pertaining to this motion.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator MILNE: I note the minister, Senator Ludwig, saying that the clauses from the agreement are cherry picked. They are central clauses to the agreement. Clauses 25, 26 and 27 set out the conservation part of the agreement. The rest of the agreement pertains to compensation and allocation of funding to logging, where logging will occur et cetera, but those three clauses set out very clearly and state emphatically that there will be no logging in the 430,000 hectares that go into informal reserves. If the verification process says that timber from those areas is essential to maintain contracts, then clause 27 is invoked, which provides compensation to those companies concerned. There is nowhere in the entire agreement anything that provides for ongoing logging in the 430,000 hectares. I have to say that if the government votes against this then it is voting against a fundamental part of the agreement and will be signalling to Tasmanians that the federal government is either rolling over to Forestry Tasmania or prepared to renegotiate the fundamentals of the agreement, which will be a very strong signal to the ENGOs in Tasmania that the federal government has sold out on the conservation principles of the intergovernmental agreement. So this is a critical motion for the Senate.