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Thursday, 7 November 1985
Page: 1767

Senator AULICH(5.37) —The issue that Senator Sanders raised is a very interesting one for all of us. I was fascinated to hear his comments about the future of Tasmania. They come from a man who sat in the State Parliament one night and voted to bring down a Labor government which, in a courageous decision that turned around politics in Tasmania, saved the Franklin River. That Labor government found no support at all from the honourable senator on the other side of the chamber. In fact, he helped to put Robin Gray into power in Tasmania. Today he complains about the fact that wood chipping will continue in Tasmania. It will continue because the conservation movement at large in Tasmania, despite his particular protestations to the contrary, does believe that the wood chipping industry is necessary for Tasmania and is possible within an appropriate environmental arrangement. In other words, Senator Sanders is out of touch with his own constituency in Tasmania.

Honourable senators will have noticed that when he talks across the chamber to Senator Tate, myself or others he often says `You Tasmanians', as if he has drifted in from the United States of America and still believes that somehow or other his loyalty is to that country and not to Australia or Tasmania. It may be Senator Sanders's viewpoint that he is an alien who is here under sufferance to tell the truth to Australians and Tasmanians. Despite the fact that he is bleating like a sheep on the other side-I refuse to listen to him because he has had his chance here and there to say a few things-there are people in the conservation movement in Tasmania who used to support Senator Sanders and who believe the wood chipping industry must go on, that it is essential to Tasmania and that the 4,000 jobs that are created, indirectly and directly, by that industry simply cannot be written off with one stroke of Senator Sanders's pen. Those people are quite prepared to stand up and be counted. They will do so when the final decision is made about wood chipping in Tasmania. I believe at this stage, from what I have heard, that Senator Sanders will be left on his little lonesome. The interesting thing that will come out of it is that Senator Sanders will be able to retreat to the mainland to go from seminar to seminar and from meeting to meeting.

Honourable senators-Oh no!

Senator AULICH —Yes, he will be visited upon the rest of Australia, and honourable senators cannot avoid it. He will become a national figure, thank God, because he will be out of Tasmania most of the time. That means that politics in Tasmania will benefit from his absence and he will find his true constituency-those ignorant people on the mainland who have no idea about wood chipping, who have no idea how it really operates in a proper environmental arrangement. Those people can say what they like to Spectrum Research Pty Ltd polls-which in many cases has been wrong-and Senator Sanders can stay there with them; but, in Tasmania, a very large proportion of the population supports wood chipping if it is done in the proper way. That encompasses people from one end of the spectrum, people in the conservation movement, to those who would regard themselves as strong pro-developers. Senator Sanders is out of touch, and I suggest that when people look at him and hear what he has to say in this chamber they will believe that there are other people in this chamber who represent Tasmania a little more accurately than he does on this issue.

Question resolved in the affirmative.