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Monday, 25 February 1985
Page: 119

Senator ARCHER(3.29) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

The report of the Australian Forestry Council states that there have been big improvements in forestry procedures and management in the period under review and that there is now a much better utilisation of the resource than was the case some years ago. In Tasmania, for instance, there has been a considerable cleaning up of the useless treed country and it has been replanted with better species that are both more useful and more attractive. This is proceeding at the rate of about 10,000 hectares a year. One in seven of the entire Tasmanian work force works directly in the timber industry. That demonstrates the enormous economic position it has in that State.

We find that increasing pressure is being exerted to try to encourage Australian governments to renege on arrangements they have made for the supply of commodities in the timber industry. I think that we need to understand fully that before we can have trading partners those partners will have to accept that Australia is a reliable and dependable supplier and that when they enter into contracts those contracts are likely to be fulfilled. We have only to look at the coal, iron, uranium and wood chip industries to see that Australia's reputation as a reliable supplier of goods is now under test. It is my hope that we can become fairly mature in these matters and that we can again be regarded as a respectable and responsible supplier of goods.

Question resolved in the affirmative.