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Tuesday, 24 March 1987
Page: 1437


Mr HODGMAN(10.31) —I pose the question: When is a memorandum of understanding not worth the paper on which it is written? The answer is: When one of the parties is the Hawke socialist Government. Tasmanian forest industries have been under threat from this Government since it came into office in 1983. The Government of the State of Tasmania thought it appropriate to negotiate with the Commonwealth, and a memorandum of understanding was signed which clearly stated that, in the opinion of the Commonwealth, Tasmania could go ahead with its forestry operations in certain defined areas of Tasmania.

What has happened is that the Commonwealth has torn up that agreement. The Hawke socialist Government has totally and unequivocally reneged on that memorandum of understanding which it entered into with one of the six States of the Commonwealth of Australia. Worse still, the Hawke socialist Government has now legislated to totally abrogate everything in that memorandum of understanding with respect to forest industry operations in Tasmania.

Seven thousand Tasmanians earn their living in forestry. Tasmania has the best forestry management in the Commonwealth. Our forestry management has been complimented by experts from around the world. We do not destroy the forests. For every tree that is cut down in Tasmania, two are planted in its place. Some of our forest regeneration is the most beautiful forestry in the entire State. I have publicly advocated that the beauty of the reafforested areas should be recognised by giving them a title somewhat equivalent to the title given many centuries ago in the mother country; namely, the new forests.

The plain fact of the matter is that the Hawke socialist Government, bereft of integrity, keen to try to pick up the greenie vote wherever it can in metropolitan trendy seats in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, has reneged on the firm commitment of understanding, the documented memorandum of understanding that it entered into with the State of Tasmania. It has now legislated to lock up 260,000 hectares of Tasmanian sovereign State territory. We see them in Moscow corner laughing their heads off as, once again, they endeavour to trample on Australia's tiniest but most courageous State.


Mr Cadman —That is right. Jackboots!


Mr HODGMAN —That is right. The legislation put through this House, which has now gone to the Senate, is nothing more nor less than nazi legislation which tramples on the rights of individuals. It is authoritarian and totalitarian legislation. Madam Speaker, what on earth has happened to the clock?


Madam SPEAKER —It is all right, I have just fixed the clock.


Mr HODGMAN —Is this Canberra or Moscow?


Madam SPEAKER —You do not have to speak for much longer.


Mr HODGMAN —I take exception. That little red light is like the star of Moscow. I have just about set a world record. I thought I had 4 1/2 minutes to go. It is only a matter of time before we are paid in roubles, we address the chamber in Russian and there is a hammer and sickle over the Chair. I have been completely thrown off my lines. I just say that nazi legislation--


Mr Cunningham —Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order. I take exception to the terminology being used by the honourable member in referring to anybody in this place adopting a nazi approach or any such approach. I ask that it be withdrawn.


Madam SPEAKER —I tend to think that there is no point of order. I found nothing offensive in the remarks.


Mr HODGMAN —Thank you, Madam Speaker. The little star of Moscow still shines as I speak, with seconds remaining. What a pity!


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The seconds have gone.