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Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Page: 99

Senator Allison asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 14 July 2004:

With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 2594 (Senate Hansard, 13 May 2004, p. 23354):

(1) Has the Minister agreed to reassess any of the ecological communities listed in part (2) of the answer because the advice of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) concerning their rejection of the nominated ecological communities does not properly address the criteria set out under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

(2) Given that the Minister has agreed to reconsider the rejection of the Coolabah (Eucalyptus coolabah)/Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) woodlands of the northern New South Wales wheatbelt and Queensland Brigalow Belt Bioregion: (a) is the Minister aware that the legislative timeframe set out under the EPBC Act for a decision on this public nomination has now expired; (b) when will the Minister's new recommendation on the listing of this community be forthcoming; and (c) which other ecological communities has the Minister referred back to the TSSC for re-assessment in the light of the potential invalidity of existing TSSC advice.

(3) Is the Minister aware that the New South Wales Government has listed the Coolabah/Black Box community as an endangered ecological community under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

(4) What estimated area of the Coolabah/Black Box community has been cleared in New South Wales and Queensland since the community was first nominated for listing under the EPBC Act.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) No.

(2) (a) There is no statutory timeframe.

(b) It is not possible at this time to determine a date.

(c) None.

(3) Yes.

(4) There are no nationally published statistics.