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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 104

(Question No. 638)

Senator Sanders asked the Minister representing the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 17 October 1985:

If the Tasmanian Government decides to award the Southern Forests concession to a company that intends to export woodchips from that concession, will such a development be preceded by a separate Commonwealth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the Tasmanian woodchip EIS currently being considered by the Commonwealth; if so, will the EIS be compiled by a party other than the Tasmanian Forestry Commission or a woodchip company, given the problems that have been associated with the current EIS.

Senator Ryan —The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

In my advice and recommendations of 28 October 1985 to the Minister for Primary Industry, following assessment of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) on Tasmanian woodchip exports beyond 1988, I made the following recommendations which are relevant to the honourable senator's question.

``It is recommended that the volume of exports approved be reviewed in the light of any major changes to the sustainable yield or circumstances envisaged in the EIS, and that the volumes be based on a comprehensive assessment of available wood sources and utilisation practices, with a view to ensuring that at all times the approved cut is consistent with the best available assessment of sustainable yield.

It is recommended that, should there be any new proposal, arising out of the Tasmanian Government's pending decision on the utilisation of pulpwood from the Southern Forests, which would require a significant variation to these parameters in such a way as to increase the environmental impacts described in the EIS, a further formal examination of the environmental effects of the total proposal be required.''

Should the requirement for an EIS arise as a result of these recommendations, it would be prepared by the proponent of the proposed action as is provided for in the Administrative Procedures under the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act.