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Wednesday, 16 September 1936

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) ].- I was very glad indeed to hear the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) say that it wa3 not the intention of tha Government to close the forestry school at Canberra. Such a step would be a tragedy to the Commonwealth, for I know of no activity that should be more helpful to the nation than the efficient instruction of students in forestry principles

Senator HARDY - Does the honorable senator think that forestry can be conducted on a national basis ?

Senator PAYNE - As to the training of students, I believe it can, but sufficient students are essential in order to ensure instruction by the most competent experts.

Senator HARDY - I understand that the principal objection of the States is that at Canberra opportunities for field work are limited.

Senator PAYNE - If that is so the States must be held to some extent responsible because of their neglect of afforestation hitherto. In recent years I have had an opportunity to visit other countries, and I have been impressed by the importance attached by them to the science of afforestation. In one country every acre of land that is not suitable for ordinary agricultural operations is devoted to afforestation, with the result that the country will, before long, be selfsupporting in respect of softwoods for its various industries. It is lamentable that vast areas of densely wooded land in Australia have been denuded of commercial timber. If thi3 short-sighted policy continues much longer we shall one day have to rely entirely on imported timbers for our industries. I hope that the importance of this subject will not be overlooked and that nothing will be left undone to keep open the forestry school at Canberra.

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