Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 19 November 2002
Page: 6808


Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 15 October 2002:

(1) Can the Minister advise what meetings he, or his predecessor, has conducted since 1999 with international counterparts in order to increase market access for Australian manufactured wood and forestry products.

(2) Who attended each meeting.

(3) What was the outcome of each meeting.

(4) What records were kept of each meeting.

(5) Would the Minister advise what meetings he, or his predecessor, has conducted since 1999 with international counterparts in order to increase market access for Australian non-manufactured wood and forestry products.

(6) Who attended each meeting.

(7) What was the outcome of each meeting.

(8) What records were kept of each meeting.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The following answer has been provided by the Minister for Trade in response to the honourable member's questions (1)-(8):

The Minister for Trade has, where appropriate, during his meetings with international counterparts, taken the opportunity to seek liberalised market access for Australian exports across a broad range of sectors including for Australian manufactured wood and forestry products and unmanufactured wood and forestry products. Records of formal meetings are prepared by representatives of the Minister's portfolio.

The Minister has also promoted a joint initiative with New Zealand, agreed at the annual Australia New Zealand Trade Ministers' meeting in 2001, to gain additional overseas markets for softwood plantation forestry products.

Under close Ministerial direction, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has successfully pursued, and continues to pursue, market access outcomes for the Australian manufactured wood and forestry products and unmanufactured wood and forestry products industry. For example:

The Government pursued increased Australian furniture exports to the United States as a priority under the Market Development Group in 2000-02 resulting in additional sales of $6 million;

Australian officials met with Japanese counterparts on several occasions in the 1999-2002 time frame to achieve the following outcomes: recognition of equivalency between Japanese standards and Australian standards for plywood and laminated veneer lumber; approval of an application to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) for the use of Australian cypress pine as an equivalent of Japanese Hinoki; and recognition of Australian certification body JAS-ANZ, which forms a crucial layer of recognition by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) for recognition of Australian standards; and

The Government is currently supporting the Australian Plantation Timber Association and the Australian Building Construction Board in their efforts have Australian timber species, grades and measures included in the new Chinese timber construction codes currently under development. This would support export of Australian timber for construction framing now and into the future.