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Notice given 22 May 2006

1802  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) Why did the Prime Minister break his promise to protect 18 700 hectares (ha) of old growth forest in the Styx and Florentine Valleys and other areas adjacent to the eastern boundary of the World Heritage Area in Tasmania, instead protecting only 4 730 ha.

(2) What were the ‘social and economic consequences’ of protecting these areas.

(3) Is it not a fact that fewer than eight direct forestry jobs were involved in the Upper Florentine.

(4) Is it a fact that the 1997 Regional Forest Agreement process identified the Upper Florentine as having World Heritage values.

(5) (a) Is it a fact that the Government promised in October 2004 to protect rainforests in the Weld Valley; and (b) how much forest was actually protected in the Weld Valley.

(6) Why did the Government break its promise to protect rainforests in the Weld Valley.

(7) Is it a fact that, despite protecting less forest in the Styx, Weld and Florentine than promised, the Government raised its compensatory funding to the industry from about $30 million to over $130 million.

 

 (8) Why could not those additional funds have been used to protect areas such as the Weld, Florentine and Styx rather than to destroy them.

(9) Is it a fact that part of the $250 million package from the 2005 forest agreement is being spent on, or is earmarked for, building new logging roads into previously untouched old growth forests in the Weld and Florentine Valleys.

(10) Is it a fact that the Government is using taxpayers’ funds to break its promise and to destroy old growth forests with documented World Heritage values.

(11) Is it a fact that Commonwealth Government funds from the May 2005 forest agreement are being used, or have been earmarked, for clearing more native forests on public land and converting them to plantations.

(12) (a) Did the Government agree to the further destruction of 16 000 ha of native forest on public land and its conversion to plantations; and (b) what impact will this have on the endangered Tasmanian wedge tailed eagle.

(13) Is it a fact that the Tasmanian wedge tailed eagle faces a 97 per cent chance of extinction in north-eastern Tasmania due to the combined effects of land clearing and logging.

1803  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—With reference to the announcement of 3 May 2006 regarding changes to the Working Holiday Visa scheme that allows workers in the forestry industry to apply for a 12-month extension to their visas.

(1) On what basis has it been determined that forestry worker is an occupation in short supply.

(2) (a) How many forestry workers are currently employed in the forestry region of each state; and (b) how many are considered necessary for the industry in each state.

(3) (a) What proportion of the shortfall is for work in the plantation sector; and (b) what is in the native forest sector.

1804  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—With reference to the announcement of 3 May 2006 regarding changes to the Working Holiday Visa scheme that allows workers in the forestry industry to apply for a 12-month extension to their visas: On what basis has it been determined that forestry worker is an occupation in short supply.