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Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Page: 4492

Senator IAN MACDONALD (5:11 PM) —There is not a lot of time left, as I understand it, for my contribution. I just wanted again to point out the hypocrisy of the Greens political party in dealing with this and any issues relating to forestry. The number of trees that were burnt in the Victorian bushfires because people like the Greens refused to allow fuel to be removed from the forest is just unbelievable. I do have a little more time to develop this issue.

Senator Colbeck —It was measured in the Green carbon report.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —Indeed, Senator Colbeck! We have a magnificent resource in Australia—the most renewable and sustainable form of building material—and yet 30 years ago the Greens embarked upon a campaign to destroy the jobs of Australian workers and the Australian timber industry. And for all their pious comments, as they wring their hands during debates like the one we are having today, they do not understand that in the time when these forests were actually harvested sustainably there were people there managing those native forests and removing the fuel loads. People—that is, the forestry workers—were there and able to deal with bushfires when they broke out, but the Greens succeeded in shutting down most of the native timber forest industry in Australia and that has meant that these forests remain unprotected. For all the hand-wringing there were more trees destroyed in the Australian bushfires of earlier this year than all of the logging that has gone on in Australia since Australia was started. And do you hear the Greens complain about that? Do you hear the Greens asking for removal of fuel loads? You do not. It just shows the hypocrisy of the Greens political party on these issues.

Question agreed to.