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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 845

(Question No. 1473)

Senator Newman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 23 October 1986:

Is a Forests Leaflet on wood chipping to be produced by the Australian Heritage Commission in December 1986 under its Information/Education Program 1986-87; if so, could the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment advise-

(a) the purpose of the leaflet;

(b) what will be the contents of the leaflet; and

(c) is there any significance in the timing of the release of the leaflet which coincides with the forests campaign already announced by the conservationists for summer 1986-87.

Senator Ryan —The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

No leaflet on woodchipping has yet been produced by the Australian Heritage Commission. However the Commission intends to produce such a leaflet in the future as part of its Information/Education Program.

(a) The Australian Heritage Commission has a statutory obligation to heighten public awareness of the issues affecting the national estate, and part of our forests form a major component of Australia's national estate.

At its meeting in July 1986, the Commission recognised that forestry harvesting and woodchipping was likely to be a national estate issue for a number of years.

As a consequence, the Commission saw the need to produce information material which would describe the national estate issues affected by forestry harvesting and woodchipping so that a more informed level of public debate could be promoted.

It was agreed that as part of this process a leaflet should be produced.

(b) The contents of the leaflet have not yet been drafted in detail. I am advised however that it is proposed that it describe the national estate values of places in the Register of the National Estate which are either being, or are likely to be affected by forestry harvesting and woodchipping practices.

(b) The Commission cannot estimate the date when the leaflet will be released. There is therefore no coincidence between the release of leaflet and any summer campaign by conservationists.