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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6406

Mr GARRETT (Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts) (10:31 AM) —I am interested to hear the member for Farrer taking as a starting point for her question a press release from the Wilderness Society. The letter written by this department in relation to forest practices being undertaken in the area that the member refers to clearly identified practices which would provide the opportunity for Forests New South Wales to shift operations to less environmentally sensitive sites while discussions continue on a way forward to allow logging to continue in a more sustainable manner. There was no suggestion at all that logging was to be banned. I have made that very clear when I have spoken about this in the House.

The issue here is specifically the potential for logging to impact on wetlands of international importance and other matters protected under national environmental law. We are committed to continuing our discussions with the New South Wales government in respect of the issues raised in that letter. I am confident that we can reach a solution that will see a sustainable forest industry and adequate, proper and comprehensive protection of the environment take place in the region to which the member refers.