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Thursday, 20 March 1980
Page: 934

Senator Colston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 5 March 1980:

(   1 ) Are there any controls on the export from Australia of: (a) woodchip; and (b) wood pulp; is so, what are the controls.

(2)   If the woodchip controls are different from those for wood pulp, what is the reason for the difference.

Senator Scott - The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) (a) Yes. (b) No. The export of woodchips is prohibited under the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations without the approval of the Minister for Primary Indusry or an officer authorised by the Minister.

(2)   The principal aims of export control on woodchips are to ensure that resources are exported at no less than their true market value, that the possibility of further processing those resources at a future date is thoroughly examined, and to ensure that the sum total of economic, social and environmental costs and benefits is favourable to Australia.

There is less need to have wood pulp subject to export control. Wood pulp is competitively traded much more widely on the world market than wood chips; the processing aim has been met and there has been considerable social and economic benefits generated. Current exports and likely exports of wood pulp in the next two or three years are such a small proportion of the total Australian production that any limitation which the Commonwealth might seek to impose on exports would afford negligible additional protection to the environment.

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