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Friday, 3 April 1987
Page: 1813


Senator SANDERS(9.37) —I would just like to point out that this whole argument is really moot because no jobs will be affected by this. The only reason logging is being carried out in these areas anyway is to force this issue with the Federal Government. (Quorum formed) As I was pointing out, there really is no job loss entailed because the forestry operations that are currently being conducted in the Southern Forests and in the Lemonthyme are simply being conducted to force an issue with the Federal Government. Robin Gray wants to make an issue out of this. The only way that he can stay in power is by raising these spurious issues. Therefore, the logging that is going on there now is not necessary to either the employment or the continued output of logging in Tasmania. We have the shrieking of these Gray-bellied Tasmanian chainsaw birds on my right. The female of the species gives a call that is a strident shriek.


Senator Newman —How long did it take you to figure that out?


Senator SANDERS —There is one over there. The male call is a rather boring croak. They go on and on. They are obviously running a filibuster here. They do not want to agree with reason and common sense and come up with a reasonable way of looking at this whole forestry system in Tasmania. In fact they are afraid to have an independent inquiry into forestry in Tasmania because they know that such an inquiry would find that the Tasmanian Forestry Commission is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the logging companies and is operating in their interests. They are afraid of a dispassionate observation of it. (Quorum formed)

At first this was just a rather flatulent filibuster of this discussion by the Tasmanian troglodytic senators. Now we find that the Opposition as a whole is buying into this. This indicates what the Opposition in general thinks of environmental matters. Senator Puplick, who claims to be a somewhat wet Liberal and who alleges to care a bit about the environment, is the one calling these quorums. He is the one who is delaying the proceedings of the chamber. He is one who is costing the Senate money. The man who sits behind him, Senator Michael Baume, should be very interested in his Waste Watch Committee costing how much Senator Puplick's two quorum calls have cost the people of Australia. I urge the honourable senator to consider this in the future. I wish to delay the chamber no longer. I just point out that we have matters of substance to discuss. However, the Opposition does not seem either willing or capable of discussing them.