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Tuesday, 23 November 1993
Page: 3475

Senator COULTER (9.33 p.m.) —My final question relates to the last part of the closing speech at the second reading stage in which reference was made to the amount of forest product which Australia imports each year. I think it was mentioned that the trade imbalance was $1.6 billion. I think Senator Sherry also mentioned that if we turned some of the chips which we now export—very low value adding chips—into paper and value added product, we could turn that situation around.

  My understanding was that when Harris Daishowa—as it was when it first began—was given its first licences, it undertook to build a pulp mill in Australia. That has not happened. It is still exporting chips. These licences are coming up for renewal. What is the government going to do in relation to that undertaking? As I understand it, that was a clear undertaking to value add to those chips. It has not occurred over many years. What is the government going to do? Is it going to hold Daishowa to that promise?