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Thursday, 25 August 1994
Page: 455

(Question No. 1482)

Senator Bell asked the Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, upon notice, on 22 June 1994:

  (1) What was the result of discussions with relevant Tasmanian authorities towards developing uniform regulatory standards for the management of the tree-fern resource on an ecologically sustainable basis.

  (2) What conditions are currently applicable to organisations granted an export licence under the controlled specimens provision of the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982.

  (3) What applications have been received during the past 12 months and, in each case, what was the result of the application.

  (4) What applications are currently being considered.

Senator Faulkner —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) Although the Commonwealth has followed due processes of consultation with Tasmania with regard to regulatory mechanisms to manage the harvesting of Dicksonia antarctica (soft tree ferns) for export, these have so far failed to achieve progress toward establishing a state-wide legislative basis upon which to establish an adequate management program for sustainable harvesting.

  (2) There are no current declarations of tree ferns as controlled specimens in Tasmania under the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982.

  (3) Two applications for controlled specimen declaration have been received from Tasmania in the past 12 months. Both are presently under consideration.

  (4) In addition to the two applications referred to in (3) a further application was received from Tasmania 15 months ago and is still under consideration. An overall review of tree fern exports from Tasmania is currently being undertaken before I make a decision.