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Conservationists should look at both ends of forest issue

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"Conservationists, and indeed all Australians, should be as concerned about trees that are wasted after they are felled as much as those still standing in forests," Acting Shadow Minister for the Environment, Senator David Brownhill (NP,NSW) said today.

"While much publicity is generated whenever a forest is opened up for logging, or when export licences come up for renewal, and indeed almost every local shire and municipal council has a tree preservation order, little thought is given to waste paper.

"The wastage in Parliament House alone is staggering. Every Member and Senator receives an enormous amount of paper, whether it be in the form of newspapers (at least two every day), letters, reports or magazines. This accumulation is repeated, albeit on a lesser scale, throughout every office and home in the nation.

"It seems some local Councils have arrangements for the collection of waste paper by contractors for use in recycling,but many still don't.

"Industry sources suggest we recycle only 40 percent of used paper. When you realise we use 600,000 tonnes a year in newsprint alone, that is a lot of trees.

"And yet, I am told, Australia has one of the highest paper recovery levels in the world, with only Japan and the Netherlands with a higher recovery rate.

"I would like to think that if we could recycle more paper, we could slow down our voracious appetite for trees.

"Perhaps if we were all made more aware of how much paper, and therefore trees, we waste in our everyday lives, we would all become more efficient in our usage and disposal of it.

"Reducing paper waste would obviously reduce Australia's litter burden as well."

ends 18 January 1989

further information: David Brownhill (062) 77.3708