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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2197

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled.

  We are dismayed at the continuing destruction of old growth and wilderness forests around Australia, despite the National Forest Policy Statement jointly signed by the Commonwealth and all States except Tasmania.

  Intensive logging, most often to feed a voracious woodchip industry is underway or planned for many high conservation value forests. These forests should be protected by the commitments of the Commonwealth and State Governments under the NFPS.

  These forests include:

Coolangubra Wilderness and other areas of the S.E. Forests of NSW along with rainforest and other N.E. areas of NSW including Wingham, Mistake, Richmond Range, Chaelundi, North Washpool, Barrington and Dorrigo.

The Southern Highlands, Great Western Tiers and Tarkine Wilderness of Tasmania.

The Karri and Jarrah forests of S.W. Western Australia.

The Errinundra Plateau and other areas of the East Gippsland forests of Victoria.

The rainforests of the Proserpine region of Queensland.

  We request that the Government act urgently to protect our precious forests by utilising the Commonwealth's legal and constitutional powers, including:

Refusal of export woodchip licences

Powers to control corporations

Protection of areas listed on the register of the National Estate

Protection and effective funding of areas identified for their World Heritage values.

  Genuine and effective action by the Government to protect these and other old growth and wilderness forests is critical. A comprehensive plantation strategy rather than exploiting native forests is the way forward for a truly environmentally responsible timber industry. We further request that the Government take effective action without further delay.