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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 8065

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) (1:55 AM) —I will answer that briefly. Sustainably produced wood waste must meet the requirements of any relevant Commonwealth, state, territory or local government planning and approval process and be ecologically sustainable as defined in section 5 of the act. The approach for determining if wood waste from native forest and plantations is genuine is to apply a financial test. Broadly, for native forest wood waste, the regulators require the harvesting to be approved under relevant approval processes and the waste to be removed from a regional forest agreement, or RFA, equivalent area, and the primary purpose of the harvesting is to produce high-value products which are defined as saw logs, veneer panels, piles, girders and wood for carpentry and craft uses. The primary value is determined through the financial return for the various product strings. If greater than 50 per cent of the revenue for the product of harvesting is from the defined high-value products, the waste can be eligible.

Plantation eligibility criteria require that the harvest be approved under all relevant planning and approval processes, that no product of a higher financial value than biomass for energy production can be produced at the time of harvesting, that the plantations be managed in accordance with a specific Commonwealth approved code of practice and that plantations not be established on land cleared of native vegetation after 31 December 1989.