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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 14044

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (BraddonParliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (10:09): Good morning, colleagues. My region is well known for its many excellent business enterprises, and three of those businesses were selected recently as national finalists for the prestigious Australian Export Awards, which recognise Australian businesses for excellence and achievement in exporting. One was Walnuts Australia, which is the only large-scale commercial producer of quality walnuts in Australia using state-of-the-art technology. They export in particular to Germany, Italy, Turkey and China. The second was a producer of Australian quality honey, a family business established in 1955 specialising in Tarkine leatherwood honey, sold under the Blue Hills Honey label. They export to Japan, the UK, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The third was Specialised Vehicle Solutions, specialising in design, manufacturing and support of underground mining products. I was very pleased that, just the other evening, the Forth-based Walnuts Australia was named the Australian Emerging Exporter Award at the 15th Australian Export Awards ceremony in Canberra. Congratulations to all those finalists and particularly the winner of the Australian board, the Forth-based Walnuts Australia. Well done, everybody there.

The second thing I would like to raise is that on Saturday 17 November I attended a rally in Burnie which was auspiced by the Australian Workers Union under the banner of Our Tarkine Our Future, practising mining and conservation since 1896. Attending the rally were 3,500 people, and I had the privilege of speaking at that rally.

The intention of the rally and the petition of 6,600 signatures that accompanied it—which was presented yesterday to Minister Burke, by me, delegates from the Australian Workers Union from my region, the national secretary, Paul Howes, and Tasmanian AWU secretary, Ian Wakefield—was to make the point that in Tasmania people are tired of the extremes in terms of economic development versus conservation, and that we can have a balance; we can have both. That is particularly in relation to the area designated as the Tarkine, where we have had mining, forestry, recreation and fishing. We want to maintain that balance rather than lock up the area purely for conservation. That was the message of the delegation yesterday. I congratulate everyone involved in the Our Tarkine Our Future campaign. (Time expired)