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Government's resource procrastination costs investment and jobs



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nBRUCE LLOY D *DEPUTY LEADER, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY M edialGOVERNMENT'S RESOURCE PROCRASTINATION COSTS INVESTMENT AND JOBSThe Government's inability to make a decision on resource security to the timber industry is costing Australian jobs and causing timber product imports to rise, according to National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.Mr Lloyd said there were billions of dollars waiting to be invested which would create jobs in construction and then permanent work for many people, particularly in regional areas.He said the Government lack of decision highlights the contradiction between the Resource Minister's public statement and his private circulation of a paper acknowledging the necessity of Federal-State resource security legislation."In answer to a question from me this week, Resources Minister, Alan Griffiths exposed the lack of will within the Government to come to grips with this problem."However the Tasmanian Premier has said the proposed $1.5 billion Tasmanian paper mill will not go ahead without a Federal Government legislative commitment to resource security and Australian Paper Manufacturers says it cannot go ahead with its $700 million expansion at Maryvale in Victoria."The Government has been stringing the industry along since before the last Federal election."It lacks the guts and determination to get this country moving."There is no desire to help people who want to work or industries that want to establish or expand."With a renewable resource like forestry it is nothing short of criminal to be wasting our trees while continuing to import timber producer worth about $1.8 billion each year."It is the height of stupidity to be importing eucalyptus pulp from Brazil when many of our own forests are not being harvested and regrown.If this country is to get out of its economic mess we have to replace imports with competitively priced domestic production."To achieve this we have to encourage industries which operate without Government aid."The timber industry is such an industry. All it needs is guaranteed access to resource to encourage the investment for the hundreds of small timber mills as well as the world scale pulp and paper mills."The Government should also ensure areas of conservation value are excluded from logging and areas that are logged arefregg^^^^^g^r^r-tttp industry remains sustainable," Mr Lloyd said. ^ -I PariPARLIAMENTARY L I B R A R Y MICAM 9 1 /9/Q1 Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T., 2600 For further information phone 062/774193