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Offshore pulp mills no idle threat



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rBRUCE LLOYD L _ ^ ------------mDEPUTY LEADER, ΝΑΊ 10NAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA % J SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY -Media-1 OFFSHORE PULP MILLS NO IDLE THREAT

"The possibility of Australia losing up to $5 billion in pulp and paper mill development to Indonesia is no idle threat", Bruce Lloyd, Deputy Leader of the

National party and Shadow Minister for Primary

Industry, said today.

He was commenting on a statement yesterday by Mr Peter Wade, the Managing Director of North Broken Hill Peko Ltd., that the proposed $1 billion Northern Tasmania mill could go to Indonesia.

This was to be the first of at least three world scale mills to be built in Australia to reduce the $2.2

billion import bill for paper and timber products, and to more efficiently utilise timber resources.

Without strategically positioned pulp mills, lower value wood chip exports will continue, and saw log offcuts, whether from plantations or native forests, will continue to be wasted.

Mr Lloyd said that he has just returned from

Indonesia, where seven new pulp and paper mills are planned to be operating by the year 2000. They will be required to use plantation timber, after limited access to native forest, and Australian varieties will be the main plantation species.

The Indonesian Government is using royalties from logging to assist the development of the mills, and joint venture partners are actively being sought.

The failure of the Federal Government to guarantee forest resource security to enable mill investment in Australia is leading to the pathetic and farcical situation, where Australian companies using Australian

trees and technology in foreign countries, will be exporting pulp and paper to Australia, while our forest resources are not efficiently used and our trade deficit continues to escalate.

ends

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