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Wednesday, 15 September 1971
Page: 1310

Mr BONNETT (HERBERT, QUEENSLAND) - My question which is directed to the Minister for National Development concerns the allocation of finance for Queensland's reafforestation programme. As this programme received no special consideration in the Budget, will the Government consider reviewing this important matter in the near future and prior to the 1972 Budget?

Mr SWARTZ (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for National Development) - The question of softwood plantings and the assistance given to the States by the Commonwealth was reviewed at a recent meeting of the Australian Forestry Council and a recommendation was forwarded from that Council to the Commonwealth for consideration. It was announced at the time that there would be a substantial increase in the total amount made available to the States for additional softwood plantings for the next period of the agreement between the Commonwealth and the States, and this amount was accepted by the States.

At the last meeting of the Australian Forestry Council, which was chaired by my colleague the Minister for Customs and Excise in my absence at that time, this matter was discussed at length and it was indicated that the agreement depended on conditions relating to increased allocations by the States for further softwood plantings in all the States concerned. There are however some problems associated with this matter and it has been referred back to the Commonwealth by the States. We have undertaken to review certain aspects of it, and at the present time arrangements are being made for further discussions to take place between the Commonwealth and the States. After these discussions have been concluded and the matter has been reconsidered by all the governments concerned 1 will inform the honourable member.

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