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Thursday, 7 November 1991
Page: 2585

Mr TRUSS —Yesterday, at 11.30 a.m., 130 years of logging ended on Fraser Island. It was a very sad occasion. Fraser Island makes up some 10 per cent of Queensland's hardwood resources. Timber harvesting has been a way of life for many generations. Another great Australian industry has been lost. Particular mention must be made of the Postan family, who have been working on Fraser Island for more than half a century. It is a great tribute to the careful management of the timber industry on that island that, after 130 years of logging, the areas that were harvested were still worthy of being made national parks and nominated for World Heritage listing.

  I want to pay tribute to the island's forestry workers, who are leaving with great dignity. They knew that the decision to end logging was illogical and made for all the wrong reasons. They had not responded to the outrageous provocation of the radical conservationists who tried to disrupt their day to day activities over recent years. Irresponsible radicals had undertaken protest which, on occasions, put their lives in danger. But the loggers went about their work quietly without seeking confrontation or organising media stunts.

  The local community should be proud of its timber workers and should thank them for the wonderful contribution that they have made to Australia and to the local economy. Their reward is to be offered temporary jobs as garbos, road repairers and toilet cleaners. Importantly, they can be proud of the wonderful order in which they have left Fraser Island. (Time expired)