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FOREIGN AFFAIRS—INDONESIA—TRIPA FOREST

The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Milne), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 770—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the Tripa forest in Sumatra, an area covered by a 2-year moratorium on new forest-clearing concessions, is being burnt by deliberately lit fires and cleared in order to make way for palm oil concessions,

  (ii) the forest is home to people and wildlife and stores massive quantities of carbon, and is also home to the largest concentration of Sumatran orang-utans,


  (iii) that leading experts believe the loss of the Tripa forest could lead to the local extinction of Sumatran orang-utans by the end of 2012, and international primate experts such as Ms Jane Goodall and Mr Richard Leakey have called for the protection of the Tripa forest,

  (iv) that humanitarian and conservation organisations working within the region have reported that villagers are suffering from health problems associated with the burning and have been subjected to intimidation from both palm oil companies and Indonesian police,

  (v) the chair of President Yudhoyono's task force on forests and carbon has expressed concern that `opening up Tripa - an area with high conservation value and home to many animals endemic to Indonesia - is a grave mistake',

  (vi) while the Indonesian Government has launched a police investigation into the criminal activity in the area, palm oil companies continue to illegally clear protected forest, a process that has destroyed countless livelihoods,

  (vii) Australia is a significant consumer of palm oil from South East Asia, particularly Indonesia, as Australia imports 130 000 tonnes of palm oil each year,

  (viii) the Tripa forest crisis has received major international news coverage in publications such as Time Magazine, Voice of America, the Guardian, the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Independent, and

  (ix) many conservation groups in Indonesia regard Tripa as a test case that will determine the future of the $1 billion agreement on carbon and forests between Norway and Indonesia;

 (b) welcomes the Indonesian Government's investigations of law-breaking in the Tripa forest in early May 2012; and

 (c) calls on the Australian Government to request the Indonesian Government to fully enforce the law that protects this important region and cease all clearing in the Tripa forest.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 10

Senators—

Di Natale

Hanson-Young

Ludlam

Milne

Rhiannon

Siewert (Teller)

Waters

Whish-Wilson

Wright

Xenophon

NOES, 31

Senators—

Back

Bernardi

Bilyk

Cameron

Colbeck

Cormann

Crossin

Edwards

Farrell

Faulkner

Feeney

Fierravanti-Wells

Fifield

Furner

Gallacher

Kroger (Teller)

Madigan

McKenzie

Moore

Nash

Pratt

Ruston

Ryan

Singh

Smith

Stephens

Sterle

Thistlethwaite

Thorp

Urquhart

Williams

Question negatived.