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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1421

Senator WATSON(6.15) —Sub-clause 8 (5), of the Bill states:

The Commission shall:

(a) in the performance of its functions . . . give priority to identifying any part or parts of the Lemonthyme . . . that are definitely not qualifying areas;

(b) and as soon as practicable, report . . . the identification of any such part or parts . . .

I submit that that sub-clause is somewhat farcical. Given that 60 per cent of the Lemonthyme will not be logged at all, according to the environmental impact statement and the management plan, I believe it is something of a farce. It is merely an attempt by this Labor Government to impose its powers over a sovereign State. It is an excuse for abrogating its responsibility, for walking away from the environmental impact statement. The Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Kerin, on behalf of the Commonwealth, agreed to that management plan which has specified those areas which will not be logged and which have not to date been logged. Those areas, according to the plan, will not be logged. Surely this Bill is just a duplication of what has already been done, what has already been agreed to by the Minister for Primary Industry, and what has been included in a signed memorandum of understanding. Yet the Government is asking this inquiry to repeat this work by identifying those areas that will not qualify and will therefore not be subject to logging.