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Notice given 21 January 2003

Senator Brown: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1122-1125)—

(1) (a) What capital funding was provided to Tasmania under the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) for the construction of forestry interpretation and/or visitor centres; (b) how many centres were to be constructed; (c) how many centres were constructed; (d) where are they situated; and (e) what was the cost of each centre.

(2) What conditions did the Commonwealth place on the use of the funding.

(3) Was it a condition of the grant that the centres could be sold and leased back to Forestry Tasmania; if so: (a) what conditions applied to the sale proceeds; and (b) how is the Commonwealth to recoup its funding; if not, can the government confirm the sale by Forestry Tasmania of the Forestry Eco Centre constructed at Scottsdale, Tasmania.

(4) Was part of the sale contract the lease of the building to Forestry Tasmania.

(5) What are the terms and conditions of the lease.

(6) For how many years and at what rental is the building leased.

(7) What was the Commonwealth funding for the construction of the Scottsdale centre and what was the sale price.

(8) For what purpose have the funds from the sale been used.

(9) Is it acceptable to the Commonwealth to provide recurrent funding to Forestry Tasmania through liquidation of Commonwealth-funded assets.

(10) Are there any other Commonwealth-funded Tasmanian Forestry capital projects which have been privatised and leased back to Forestry Tasmania.

(11) Did the Commonwealth recoup any funding from the sale.

(12) Are there any other RFA Commonwealth-funded Tasmanian Forestry capital projects which have been identified for sale and lease back, for example, Dismal Swamp.

(13) Is it Government policy to provide the states with capital funding and to permit the states to sell off the assets unconditionally.

1122 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1123 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1124 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1125 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Senator Brown: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1126-1129)—

(1) What natural, cultural and heritage significance does the Government place on the landing place and area of exploration at Recherche Bay in southern Tasmania of the French explorer Bruni d’Entrecasteaux’s expedition of 1791-93 in search of La Perouse.

(2) What communication has the Australian Government had with the French Government or the Tasmanian Aboriginal community regarding the protection and commemoration of this place.

(3) Has the Government ever requested an assessment of the area for its indigenous and European heritage values, including an archaeological dig in the area to determine the site of the garden planted by the gardener Felix Delahaie; if not, will the Government seek such an assessment.

(4) Was the area considered for reservation under the Regional Forest Agreement because of its National Estate and/or heritage values; if not, why not.

(5) Is the Government aware that an area of private land in the north east corner of Recherche Bay, referred to by the French as the Port du Nord, has been the subject of a clear-fell logging plan and approved for logging by the Tasmanian Government.

(6) Is the Government aware that the land in question is surrounded by reserved areas and that the Tasmanian Government has granted permission for a logging road to be built across the conservation reserve.

(7) Is the Government aware that the Tasmanian Minister responsible for the Forest Practices Board and therefore granting approval for the Forest Practices Plan is also the Minister for the Parks and Wildlife Service responsible for granting road access across a conservation reserve: does the Commonwealth regard this as a conflict of interest.

(8) What action has the Government taken to protect the area in question.

(9) What action does the Government intend to take.

(10) Has the Australian Government informed the French Government of the proposed logging of this heritage site; if not, does it intend to do so.

1126 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

1127 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

1128 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

1129 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage