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Some common sense on New forests at last - Anderson

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7th September, 1998

The Carr Government's last minute agreement to put the northern NSW Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) negotiations on hold until adequate socio-economic assessment data is available has been welcomed by the Federal Government.

Federal Primary Industries and Energy Minister, John Anderson, said he was pleased the NSW Government had finally allowed common sense to prevail after it had previously threatened to push ahead regardless of the Federal Government's wishes.

"The way things were going, NSW was going to press ahead with RFA negotiations in northern NSW without adequate social and economic assessment data and despite the fact that the federal election means the Commonwealth cannot participate," he said.

"Now we have a breathing space that will allow us to finalise the necessary data and run audits on some of the conservation data already collected for the Upper North East RFA.

"As far as the Lower North East RFA is concerned, there is still a great deal of work to be done and the Commonwealth won't be rushing into negotiations.

"We won't be bullied into pressing ahead with second rate data and we won't be party to the thoughtless demolition of rural communities."

Mr Anderson said industry representatives, including the unions, were to be congratulated for standing firm in the face of the Carr Government's efforts to railroad through RFAs without Federal Government involvement.

Media contact: Robert Haynes (0419) 493511 or (02) 6277 7520

Minister for Primary Industries and Energy

Parliament House. Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (06) 277 7520 Fax: «36) 273 4170