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Wednesday, 16 September 1936

Senator ARKINS (New South Wales) . - Not sufficient is done in Australia to encourage afforestation and the proper utilization of our wonderful timbers. Recently I visited the Atherton Tableland, where I saw large areas of magnificent mountain timber. In order to show the remarkable value of some of our Australian timbers, I pass on to the committee some information which I learned when at Ravenshoe. A man who paid £1,500 for an area of land, a few weeks later sold one tree to a Sydney company for £1,150. Until a Japanese buyer bought some fallen timber, and even some 'roots, which had been lying on the- ground for several years, this potential source of wealth was not recognized. Australian timbers, from which some of the finest veneers in the world are obtainable, are valued by other people, if not by ourselves. A school of forestry is necessary, not only to encourage the .growing of suitable timbers, but also to show how to make the best use of them, when grown. Logs which have lain on the ground for several years have recently been exported to the United States of America and Great Britain, where they are highly valued for the making of veneers. I regret that the Government of New South Wales has not seen fit to send its forestry pupils to the Australian School of Forestry, and, particularly, that the State Minister for Forests is reported to be hostile to the school.

Senator Hardy - On purely technical grounds only.

Senator ARKINS - That is so. But this subject is too big for technicalities; it is of national importance. I should like to see greater interest taken by the States in the Australian School of Forestry.

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