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Possible breach of export controls to be investigated

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N E W S -• R E L E A S E

DPIE93/5GR 20 January 1993


The Federal Minister for Resources, Alan Griffiths, said today that he has refused at this stage to renew an export licence for APPM Forest Products, in response to a possible breach by the company of the Export Control Act. (1982).

The possible breach occurred in December 1992, when APPM, a subsidiary of North Broken Hill Ltd, exported pine logs without an export licence to cover the full amount of the shipment.

Mr Griffiths said that as a consequence, the matter will be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for investigation.

"I have not taken this decision lightly. In deciding this course of action, I have taken into account the particular circumstances of the possible licence breach and other actions associated with the company's operations in northern Tasmania.

"The company was given the opportunity to explain its actions, but its response asserted that the delay in issuing the export licence was, in effect, unacceptable to the company.

"This assertion is unfounded. The Department of Primary Industries and Energy processed the application over a six-week period during which it was necessary for the Department to seek additional information from the company.

"This also comes at a time when APPM has announced its decision to close Burnie's softwood sawmill with the loss of 37 jobs and its intention to continue to export pine logs at the expense of domestic processing."

Mr Griffiths said he was mindful that this decision may affect some jobs in the transport and forestry sectors and to facilitate continuity of employment, was prepared to consider an application by North Broken Hill to increase its pine woodchip export licence.

Information: (06) 277 7480. COMMONWEALTH


Parliament House Phone: (06) 277 7480

Canberra ACT 2600 Fax: (06) 273 4154