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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1371


Senator WALTERS(11.37) —This is absolute rubbish from the Australian Democrats. It is rubbish for them to say that all Tasmanian forests should be included. What on earth are they on about? As I said in my second reading stage speech, Tasmania already has 12 1/2 per cent of its area locked away in national parks. Under this legislation another 5 per cent could be added to that figure. That means that 17 1/2 per cent would be locked away. Senator Sanders is asking for the same thing as the conservationists-that 33 per cent of our State should be made a wilderness. As I have said, 12 1/2 per cent of our State is already locked away in national parks under State legislation, and that is before this legislation comes into effect.

Let me tell the Committee what the other States have locked away. New South Wales has the next largest amount in national parks under State legislation but the figure there is 3.6 per cent. In Victoria the figure is 3.3 per cent; in Queensland it is 2.3 per cent; Western Australia, 1.8 per cent; South Australia, less than one per cent. Those are the latest figures that the Parliamentary Library could give us. That is what the rest of the States contribute for people to walk freely in. This area cannot be developed. As I have said, New South Wales has handed over 3.6 per cent, Victoria 3.3 per cent, Queensland 2.3 per cent, Western Australia 1.8 per cent, and South Australia less than one per cent.

Senator Sanders wants to make Tasmania nothing but a wilderness. We in Tasmania will not go back to weaving and living an alternative lifestyle. We have a right to develop our State the same as the people of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia have the right to develop their States. There is no way that we will go back to the stupid nonsense that Senator Sanders talked about when putting forward his amendment.