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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1374


Senator GIETZELT (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)(11.57) —As usual, Senator Walters distorts the position to suit her prejudged views. The suggestion that this Bill is about taking anything from Tasmania and putting any further areas under a wilderness, national park or World Heritage designation is fallacious and has no substance. The Bill is about setting up an inquiry. It seeks to establish how we can reconcile the differences and the different interests that have to be accommodated in Tasmania. I can assure Senator Walters that I have done my utmost in this. For example, if she flies to Sydney, as the plane comes in to land at Mascot she will see 650 acres of land which I was responsible for being declared a wilderness area because of its unique aspects for future generations. Fortunately the Whitlam Government agreed to do that and fortunately the honourable senator's Government, when in power, agreed to hand it back to the State so that it is now protected for all time as a unique wilderness area. So we ought not to have any qualms about our commitments to maintaining what areas should be kept for future generations.

However, having said that, I want to refute the suggestion that the honourable senator has made that this legislation is about increasing the Tasmanian wilderness or world heritage areas from 12 1/2 to 33 per cent. That is untrue, and she knows it to be untrue. She is only headline chasing.