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Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Page: 3913


Senator CONROY (VictoriaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (15:04): For the information of the Senate, I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard additional advice on a question asked of me yesterday by Senator Milne.

Leave granted.

The answer read as follows—

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Senate Question without Notice

On 24 June 2013 during question time, Senator Milne asked me a question as Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities concerning:

Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

Given this very good news for Tasmania, what action will the minister take to ensure that the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is not opened to logging by any future state or federal government?

Answer

Under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, all Signatories acknowledged the need for a transition period for industry to cease harvesting logs in the agreed reserve areas and transition to new coupes. At the time of the nomination to the World Heritage Committee, there were some coupes in which tree felling operations were to continue however these now have been completed and no logging will occur within the World Heritage area.

The Australian Government will not approve any harvesting of wood, within the World Heritage area or areas listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999. The public commitments made by Forestry Tasmania, plus the current and subsequent protections offered by both governments will protect these values.