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Tuesday, 24 March 1987
Page: 1434

Mr HODGMAN(10.13) —I have raised in this House now on two occasions and I wish again to raise tonight the question of the attempt by the Hawke socialist Government to close down the Tasmanian forest industries. The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment (Mr Cohen) presented legislation which went through this House last week. Unfortunately, due to circumstances for which I alone was responsible, I was absent from the House for 24 hours and therefore was not able to make the contribution which I wished to make. Accordingly, and without in any way reflecting on the vote in the House, I want to speak tonight to give some advice, if I may, to those in the chamber across King's Hall who are currently considering this legislation. The more I look at the legislation, the more I am convinced that is unconstitutional.

I have been back to look at the famous Gordon below Franklin case in the High Court of Australia. In that case the High Court by majority held that the Commonwealth did have power to prevent the building of the Gordon below Franklin dam, but that power was based on section 51, placitum 29 of the Constitution-the external affairs power. Expressly the High Court said that that power related to Australia's treaty obligations in relation to areas which had actually been listed on the World Heritage. I have to point out to this chamber that in the areas set out in the Bill which has gone from this place to the Senate the Commonwealth seeks to exert influence by ministerial edict over 260,000 hectares-over a quarter of million hectares-of native Tasmanian sovereign land. This centralist Hawke socialist Government desires to exert influence.

Mr Cobb —So much for States' rights.

Mr HODGMAN —So much for States' rights. This centralist socialist Government hates Tasmania and repeatedly picks on Australia's smallest State. The bullying centralist Canberra dogma must have its way. As my colleague the shadow Minister, the honourable member for Mitchell (Mr Cadman), will well confirm, the Government does not give a damm about its vote in Tasmania. It is quite prepared to write off any chance of winning any of the five House of Representatives seats. It is after the greenie vote in the trendy metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney seats. That is what it is after. As my colleague the shadow Minister will confirm, it will not get those votes because the rational conservationists in Melbourne and Sydney can see through the Government for the fraud that it is.

Mr Deputy Speaker, did you know that of the 260,000 hectares that this all powerful, all dominating and all bullying Hawke socialist Goverment is trying to lock up we are not just talking about World Heritage but about the National Estate and about private property? It might upset the Minister but I want to say that his legislation contains four of the most totalitarian clauses ever brought before this Parliament. Clause 14 contains the right of forcible entry on any private property in Tasmania upon which it is believed that forestry resources are contained. That right is given by this outrageous Government not just to members of the Commission of Inquiry into the Lemonthyme and Southern Forests but to any other person authorised in writing-ergo Jonathon West.

Honourable members should look at the provisions of clause 17. This Minister can go to the Federal Court of Australia or the High Court of Australia and get an injunction on more favourable terms than any other person in the Commonwealth of Australia. He does not have to prove that an act has been done, that there is a likelihood of it being repeated or that there is imminent danger. The law of Australia has been subverted for the purpose of giving the Minister a preference over any other litigant. Honourable members should look at clause 19, where the right of compensation is restricted, which again contravenes section 51 of the Constitution. It provided that compensation is payable only in the first instance. Those in the secondary and tertiary categories get nothing. This is totalitarian authoritarian legislation. This Government stands condemned. I trust that the Senate in its wisdom will reject it neck and crop.