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Wednesday, 23 October 2002
Page: 5808


Senator Brown asked the Minister for Forestry and Conservation, upon notice, on 30 July 2002:

(1) Is the Minister aware that, according to the latest Tasmanian Forest Practices Board report, 11.8 per cent (9,040 hectares) of the Regional Forests Agreement area's Eucalyptus regnans remaining in 1996 was logged by 2001.

(2) Does the Minister recognise that, at this logging rate, 100 per cent will be lost by 2044 and that logging is not sustainable.

(3) Will the Government move immediately to reduce this rate to a sustainable level.

(4) What, in the Minister's estimate, is the sustainable rate of Eucalyptus regnans logging in Tasmania for: (a) sawmills; (b) veneer; and (c) woodchip purposes.


Senator Ian Macdonald (Minister for Forestry and Conservation) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) I am advised by the Honourable Paul Lennon, Deputy Premier and Minister for Economic Development, Energy and Resources, that the Tasmanian Forest Practices Board Annual Report for 2000-01 does not provide data on how much Eucalyptus regnans has been logged since 1996.

(2) Given that the Tasmanian Forest Practices Board Annual Report for 2000-01 does not provide data on how much Eucalyptus regnans has been logged since 1996, as stated in the preceding answer, the proposition behind this question is incorrect.

Nevertheless, I would add that the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) provides the basis for sustainable management of Tasmania's forests, including a comprehensive, adequate and representative (CAR) reserve system that protects 40 per cent of Tasmania's forests, including 16,330 hectares of Eucalyptus regnans forests. Most native forests are regenerated to the same forest community after logging, ensuring their sustainability.

(3) In light of the answers provided previously, I cannot see how you can maintain that the level of Eucalyptus regnans harvest is unsustainable. Therefore, I will not be seeking for Tasmania to change how it manages this forest type.

(4) The Commonwealth does not have the responsibility for calculating sustainable yield from Tasmania's forests. The Commonwealth has accredited the methods used by the Tasmanian Government for calculating sustainable yields of wood products. Tasmania publishes five yearly reviews of the wood resource in public and private forests and plans the harvest of its public forests on a sustainable basis.