Consideration of Urgent Motion
Mr YEADON (Granville - Minister for Land and Water Conservation) [3.45]: I move:
This Government can claim a momentous achievement in forestry in New South Wales. Seven years of coalition Government delivered nothing to the timber industry. Honourable members opposite lacked the intellectual capacity to chart a new course for forestry. They lacked the political will to deliver the reforms necessary to lift the industry out of its crisis. They continued to sanction logging at criminally unsustainable levels, and so threatened the very existence of the industry and hundreds of jobs. Jobs disappeared and the industry withered from political neglect. Contrast that with what is happening in this State today. In 18 months of government Labor has laid the foundations for a revitalised timber industry. There is a chance for real investment and job creation, for innovation and international recognition.
Like many other industries, forestry is restructuring so that it can move into the twenty-first century in a managed and orderly way, with plenty of support from this Government. The Government is supporting an industry that is sustainable, safe for workers and profitable for employers. The industry will measure up to the strict environmental demands of the wider community, while at the same time becoming economically stronger. It has a chance to recreate itself economically and environmentally. The framework is simple. It is underpinned by five-year term agreements of 50 per cent of 1995-96 timber supply levels, with scope for a second five-year agreement. The five-year agreement is conditional upon sawmillers demonstrating a commitment to do business better by value-adding.
While perhaps not as long as the industry would have liked, the term agreements give millers the certainty they need to invest in better equipment and new technology. The value-adding requirement also gives millers an incentive to invest, the result of which will be more jobs, safer jobs and better paid jobs. During question time I read out part of a speech given by the former Minister for Land and Water Conservation, the honourable member for Upper Hunter, which is educational in this regard. In addressing the Forest Products Association before the last election the former Minister said, "As I travel about the State it is obvious that resource security is one of the biggest problems facing the industry." Yet, he did nothing about it and proposed to do nothing about it. He said the numbers in Parliament prevented him from putting together a package that gave industry at least some degree of certainty.
Of course, it is now clear that the honourable member did not need to go to Parliament to help the industry, even in the most modest of ways. This Government has done it. The honourable member could have done the job, too, in exactly the same way. Talk of the need to bring industry reform to Parliament was simply a ruse to avoid acting for the benefit of the timber industry. In a speech in 1994 the former Minister even suggested that he would bring legislation to Parliament next session to bring certainty to the industry. Funnily, it never hit the deck. It is funny also that I found absolutely no evidence of the preparation of such legislation. He should be filled with envy to see this Government put in place reforms that he put in the too-hard basket and to see the balanced way in which this Government has implemented them, which reflects a concern for the environment as well as for people in rural New South Wales.
The 50 per cent term agreements will be topped up by allocations of differing levels around the State, according to the supply of timber in particular regions. The top-up will remain in place for three years, or until the conclusion of comprehensive regional assessments, whichever comes first. The top-ups will consist of an additional 15 per cent of 1995-96 quota levels in the areas around Wyong and Cessnock; an additional 15 per cent of 1995-96 quota levels in the southern region: Nowra, Batemans Bay, Narooma, Moss Vale, Queanbeyan and Badja; an additional 10 per cent of 1995-96 quota levels in northern New South Wales and on the Northern Tablelands, from the Queensland border to the Hunter River and west to
Tenterfield and Glen Innes; and an additional 50 per cent on 1995-96 quotas in the Tumut region. The aim of the top-up is to allow for a managed and gradual reform of the timber industry.
In addition, no changes will take place to wood supply until 1 July next year, again to allow for a gradual and staged adjustment of the timber industry. The Government has listened to the concerns of the community and will reshape the industry with as little disruption as possible to people's lives. The Government will ensure it can meet the wood supply level by embarking upon an aggressive private purchase scheme bringing more supply of private forests on line, managing them in a sustainable way and injecting cash into rural economies. The purchase of private land will help the Government to protect jobs, while at the same time restructuring the industry. New harvest advisory panels will give conservationists, local government, Aboriginal and union representatives an unprecedented say in forestry policies. When compartments deferred from logging need to be harvested, these panels will be consulted on which compartments will be accessed.
Artificial boundaries between State forest regions will also be removed so that wood can flow from high-supply regions to those of lower supply if necessary. As I have said, people as well as trees are important to the New South Wales Government. When the Carr Labor Government came to office it brought a vision for a New South Wales native timber industry that was, among other things, sustainable, profitable, able to generate real jobs in regional New South Wales, and secure in its future. To help the Government achieve its vision it secured for the people of regional New South Wales the most generous industry restructure package in Australian history. The $120 million forest industry structural adjustment package, or FISAP, represents an unprecedented level of support for the restructure of a single industry. The three components of FISAP - worker assistance, industry development assistance and business exit assistance - are designed to provide assistance where it is needed most: on the ground in regional communities and regional industry.
In the next five years FISAP, which is jointly funded by the State and the Commonwealth, will provide assistance to people who have been or are likely to be adversely affected by changes to government forest policy, both State and Commonwealth. To date, FISAP has provided almost $3 million to help more than 125 workers with training, relocation and, as a last resort, a special redundancy payment. FISAP is about helping workers. Ask the mill hand at the local mill about FISAP, a fellow from Moruya who last month was made redundant. Thanks to FISAP he is now a field officer with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Mr Schultz: Big deal!
Mr YEADON: It is a big deal to him. He is delighted to have that position. A number of people at Coolah, who were formerly with the same mill, are now working at the new park the Government created at Coolah, and they are absolutely delighted. To quote from one of them, "It is a dream come true." That is something that could never be delivered by members on that side of the House. The Opposition could never even understand people's dreams. It simply fed on their fear, and its political heyday is over.
A fellow who in June lost his job as a timber contractor was able to relocate with the help of FISAP to an area with higher job prospects and is now a dozer operator. The package is working. The Government is working in partnership with the native timber industry, the unions, the conservation movement, and, I might add, the Commonwealth Government to develop a long-term strategy for the industry's future. The thrust of this strategy is that we must do things better, adding value at every stage of production. We have already seen a reduction in log allocation from public forests to ensure sustainability. Accordingly, a number of timber businesses have turned to FISAP to help restructure their operations so they can make better use of their available resource while at the same time creating jobs.
So far, FISAP has committed about $850,000 to help five companies restructure their operations. An example is Kempsey Timbers on the State's mid-north coast. This company is striving to develop quality products and has already forged new export markets. It has created 30 direct additional jobs, and another 30 jobs in the region are slated to be generated. That is 60 additional jobs out of one mill, which demonstrates the power of the policy the Government has put in place. More regional jobs, greater regional profits and more export markets will be created in the medium to longer term as the industry is restructured. As a result of FISAP, the company has already won new export contracts for high quality flooring products.
Ford Timbers at Woodenbong received funding to upgrade its pilot value-adding plant and to conduct a feasibility study into a significant expansion of its value-adding and further processing facilities. Richards Milling Company received $117,000 to subsidise the cost of a major upgrade at its Wyan plant. The upgrade has allowed the company to proceed with the commissioning of a multimillion dollar high-tech sweep-sawing line specifically designed for processing small diameter regrowth and plantation logs. Again, that is another very important point. A key aspect in the strategy that the Government is putting forward is a shift to regrowth logs and to maximise the resource from those logs, resulting in more timber from less resource.
Big River Timbers at Grafton received $40,000 to review its business plan by further developing the company's domestic and export markets for a range of high strength form-ply product. So the vision statement and the vision of the Government are working, and were working even prior to the historic
decision taken yesterday by the Government. The timber industry knows that the Government is serious about assisting it. It has never received assistance before, particularly from those opposite. The more visionary people within the industry are already showing what they can do: investing in plant and equipment, achieving export markets and creating jobs. The Government will do that for the next two to three years and demonstrate that this industry is viable and competitive and has a very secure future.
Mr D. L. PAGE (Ballina) [3.55]: The Government is trying to portray this decision as historic when, quite clearly, in terms of the process and the reality of the situation it is only an interim decision. It is not an historic decision whatsoever. The reaction of the people who have responded to the decision since it was made is by no means one of unanimous agreement. For example, the unions have gone to the membership to consider their position - hardly a ringing endorsement. The unions and the industry know that a lot of jobs are involved in this decision; we know that a lot of jobs are involved; and the honourable member for Clarence knows that a lot of jobs are involved in his electorate.
What about the industry's reaction? The Executive Director of the Forest Products Association issued a press release entitled "Another win for the Greens". That is hardly a wholesome endorsement from the industry. I acknowledge that a subsequent press release referred to the positives in the package. It seems to me that the Greens are generally fairly happy with the situation. But my experience is that no matter how many promises are made to the environment movement or how much is given to it, it has an insatiable appetite, and that will continue. It is foolhardy for the Minister for Land and Water Conservation to say it is an historic agreement and that this is an end to conflict in the forest industry. Mark my words: there will continue to be disagreement and concern about the way in which the timber industry is moving in this State, about the need to create jobs, and about the loss of jobs in country areas. The Minister is saying he will create jobs. The only jobs the Government will create are in other States of Australia and overseas. This policy is a job loss policy.
Mr Yeadon: We have created 60 in Kempsey already.
Mr D. L. PAGE: Every time we talk about job increases the Minister goes straight back to value-adding, saying that is where all the new employment comes from. Let us look at where the first $5.7 million of the restructure package was spent. The Minister cannot deny that 95 per cent of it was spent on redundancy and business exit. The Minister released a report the other day which showed that 95 per cent of the expenditure from 1 January to 30 June was spent on business exit, getting people out of the industry, and on redundancies. From memory, only approximately $290,000 was spent on relocation and redeployment. I understand that some money has been spent since then, and that is good, but a lot more money needs to be spent on value-adding and investment in the industry. The reality is that most of the money coming through the restructure package is actually going to offset job losses.
So let us have none of this nonsense that somehow there is an absolute agreement. The unions are very concerned about it. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald entitled "Carr's Gamble" was hardly a ringing endorsement. It is a gamble. The Government is hoping to lock these people in. I am suggesting that if the Government keeps this up and raises expectations to the present level, there is nothing surer than that this forestry policy will unravel as fast as the sub-committee on the Cabinet was unravelling prior to the decision being made. The Minister knows he has not got enough resources to keep the industry going. He is looking to acquire private forestry and will use about $30 million to $40 million of the restructure package to do that.
I have a couple of comments to make in relation to that. First, if the Government buys private forestry which is currently available to the timber industry and brings it into public ownership, what guarantee can the Government give members of this House that the privately owned resource, once publicly owned, will not be subject to challenges about high conservation value from the conservation movement? The Government cannot give a guarantee in that regard. There is absolutely no point whatsoever in changing the ownership of those forests from privately owned to publicly owned unless the Government can give an ironclad guarantee to the timber industry that that resource will be available not tomorrow, not next week but forever so that there will be a sustainable industry. If the Government can give that guarantee I want to know how, because it will still be subject to planning laws. If the Minister can give a guarantee on that publicly-owned resource in a way he has not been able to do so far with other publicly-owned resources, he is a better man than I.
Mr Yeadon: I am a better man.
Mr D. L. PAGE: You are yet to prove it. The Minister has said that by way of an offset to the creation of the 12 new wilderness areas and the 10 new national parks, he will provide five-by-five wood supply licence arrangements. This is the big carrot for the industry. Members on this side of the House strongly endorse the concept of long-term contracts for the industry. I make it very plain that I support it absolutely. But I point out to the House that the Government's deal provides only that those contracts apply to 50 per cent of the 1995-96 quota levels, and that the balance of that timber will be available on a year-by-year basis.
My prediction is that that amount of timber will be traded off between now and the next election as the Government comes under pressure from the environment movement, and that resource will not
be available to the industry. The Minister talks about long-term sustainability for the timber industry. Yet the Government is only prepared to commit itself to 50 per cent of the 1995-96 quota. Why? Because the Minister is worried about the figures. He should have made sure that the resource was there before an allocation was made.
Mr Yeadon: I did.
Mr D. L. PAGE: I doubt it. Five years is not long enough.
Mr Yeadon: It is 10 years.
Mr D. L. PAGE: I would give the sawmill operators a 10-year agreement. Victoria has 15-year agreements. The Government is not doing something that has never been done before. Everyone agrees that the supply of product is important to industry.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member will address his remarks through the Chair and the Minister will cease interjecting.
Mr D. L. PAGE: The package contains very little about funding a private forest. In one line it says that the Government will aggressively pursue the acquisition of private forests.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Minister will cease interjecting.
Mr D. L. PAGE: If ever there was an indication of what is in the mind of the Government, that is it. The Government knows that the resource will not be available through publicly owned forests and that it will have to buy privately owned forest. If that acquisition is funded from the restructured package and it costs $40 million, that is $40 million that will not be available for redundancy payments to people in the Clarence electorate. That is $40 million that will not be available to industry workers or for value-adding or other things covered by the restructure package. Any acquisition of private land should be funded from consolidated revenue. The resource package is funded half by the State and half by the Commonwealth and the Minister should keep his hands off it. The honourable member for Clarence will be speaking in this debate. He has placed himself in an interesting position in the lead-up to the Government making its decision. In a letter dated 3 September that he wrote to Martin Frohlich he made some interesting comments. He said:
That this House consider and support the Government's historic and balanced forestry reforms which will build a better future for the timber industry and create a world-class system of national parks and reserves.
He further said:
As you intimated in your letter, I have always been a great ally of the green movement and my philosophies basically have not changed.
One would think he was selling out to the Greens! However, reading further will elicit what the real Harry Woods thinks. In the second paragraph on page 2 he said:
I must stress again that this is not in the final result where we differ in opinion, but really in the time frame used to get there.
He is telling the Minister the truth: that many people in the timber industry are worried by this decision and are concerned about the jobs involved. Just three weeks ago the Premier was in Orange and he was reported in the Land of 5 September under the headline "Rural communities will be heard: Carr" as follows:
I suppose in the final analysis it comes down to moral imperatives and I simply do not believe we have the right to consign a sizeable chunk of an industry's workforce to the dole queue. For indeed the fate of the unskilled timber worker, despite the hype about jobs in eco-tourism etc, is unemployment, or something like being moved to the back of Sydney's industrial suburbs to work the night shift in the local plastics factory.
A rural communities impact statement has not been prepared. The only socioeconomic impact study undertaken was the Powell report, which said in no uncertain terms that if 30 per cent or 40 per cent of the quota is removed from the industry, a number of corresponding jobs will be lost. But, importantly, if more than the magical 30 per cent quota is cut, management will start making decisions about the number of people to employ and whether to continue to invest. [Time expired.]
Mr WOODS (Clarence) [4.05]: I am pleased to have the opportunity to debate an issue that is important to me, my electorate and country areas generally. On any view, Australia has a large trade deficit in timber and paper products, of the order of $5 billion or $6 billion. The important issue is not about increasing or decreasing the quantity of product sent overseas and brought back; rather it is about product value. The basic policy of governments should be to do as much as possible with the product in Australia. The shadow minister was duplicitous about supporting term agreements, because the coalition Government had ample opportunity to push value-adding of products. The long-standing argument of the industry has always been that if the Government wanted it to value-add products, resource security was needed. The coalition had the opportunity to provide resource security but it did nothing. It neglected the industry by doing nothing about resource security in this State. In 1991 the Federal Labor Government introduced resource security legislation that would have produced new pulp mills in Australia. Yet the coalition's Federal colleagues took the same view as its New South Wales colleagues and rejected the proposal. It joined with the Australian Democrats and stopped its progress through the Senate. I can only conclude that the New South Wales coalition did not like resource security for the timber industry. The future of the industry is with resource security and that is why I support the motion.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Ballina has had an opportunity to speak in the debate.
Mr WOODS: The Government's decision does not represent everything I support, but various aspects of it are positive.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst will cease interjecting.
Mr WOODS: Long-term agreements will provide incentive to the industry to invest - which is what we have been told - and security for the long term. The Federal Labor Government proposed that same procedure but the coalition rejected it. In the long term the deficit can only be addressed by long-term agreements; it will not be fixed by maintaining only local resource. Added emphasis needs to be placed on joint projects with State forests and land-holders for the establishment of plantations. In addition to current plantation establishments, the Government is aiming to establish 10,000 hectares per year of native forest plantation statewide, which will add enormously to the available resource. I reiterate the absolute duplicitous nature of this mob opposite for its failure to support resource security when it had the opportunity to introduce it and give the industry future incentive. If the retention rate is taken in isolation - the part of the decision with which I disagree - of course jobs will be lost. However, if the package is considered for the long term, it will provide an incentive to invest. Industry tells us to invest and provide jobs for the future, to address the major national problem of the current account deficit, to which timber and paper products add. [Time expired.]
Mr HAZZARD (Wakehurst) [4.10]: The Resource and Conservation Assessment Council - RACAC - process offered so much hope that perhaps a resolution of forestry issues could be found. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the mooted response from both sides yesterday, it appears that neither side is happy. If the Government had been perceived as honest about the task it was seeking to achieve, and if the various conservation groups, forestry industries and unions had a sense of confidence about the veracity and substance of this Government, we would now be in a much better position and we would be able to say that a reasonable resolution had been reached. Unfortunately it is not the end of the line; a lot more work still needs to be done. The Government has simply taken a number of soft options. That is not to say that the coalition has not supported, and does not continue to support, the fundamental approach of bringing together the various parties that have been warring for far too long.
From the Opposition's point of view I congratulate the parties that tried to provide a reasonable resolution to this issue. A great number of people met at Hurstville, including representatives of the forestry industry, the unions, the Forest Products Association Limited, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Nature Conservation Council and the North-East Forest Alliance. Regrettably, a host of well-meaning people are now wondering just exactly what they have got from this Government. It was disappointing to see the Premier treat this debate today in a light-hearted, trite, trivial and facetious way to the point at which I think he referred to Felicity Wade from the Wilderness Society carrying his pack on the next bushwalk. The Premier may have to look after his own pack, because most people on both sides of the debate are concerned that many issues still have not been resolved.
Those at the front of this debate, not including the Minister for Land and Water Conservation, who is Johnny-come-lately, but including those in the conservation movement from the ACF, the NCC and the North-East Forest Alliance, have put a lot of time and effort into trying to resolve the issues, as have people from the forestry industry. Col Dorber, who is present in the gallery - he seems to have a permanent position in the gallery at present - has been fighting for the forestry industry. Many groups have not had a say. The honourable member for Oxley told me today - he has made the same point on many occasions - that he is extremely concerned that the mill workers in his electorate have not been properly consulted. That remains a big issue.
People in the electorate of Oxley and in other electorates, whether they be beekeepers or members of the public land users alliance, feel that they have not been a party to the process and have not been properly consulted. The Minister is nodding his head. The interim resolution contains some big pluses in terms of conservation outcomes. Some substantial additions have been made to wilderness areas and national parks. Where will the money come from to support these new national parks and wilderness areas? I did not hear a word from the Minister or the Premier about one extra cent - certainly not enough money anyway - being used to deal with management issues. What about the problems with feral animals in national parks and the wilderness? What about the problem of fires in these areas?
I challenge the Government to tell the House what money will be provided. The rangers are annoyed about the lack of funds for their jobs. Where will the additional funding come from? I tell the honourable member for Clarence, who left the Chamber - he did not want to hang around - and the honourable member for Bathurst, who did not want to stay either, that they should not support the Government. They should have the courage to cross the floor to speak to honourable members on this side who represent the broad community, both conservationists and the industry. Government members are prepared to lie, to behave trivially and to make silly comments such as the comment made today by the Premier about the conservationists and environmentalists carrying his pack. He will get the pack; no-one else will. [Time expired.]
Mr WATKINS (Gladesville) [4.15]: I am happy to speak for the people of New South Wales through my electorate of Gladesville. All I hear in my electorate is an overwhelming sigh of gratitude for what the Government has done for both the forest industry and, importantly, for the forests and old-growth areas in the State. Honourable members cannot look at the resolution in any way other than as a historic conservation decision. It brings a whole new era to forestry management in New South Wales. It has many facets: it will protect wilderness, it will add a huge number of new parks, it will provide job security for people in the industry and it
will ensure that the industry in New South Wales has a future. Speaking in the debate today brings me great pleasure because this is the best conservation gain that New South Wales has ever achieved. In fact it is the best conservation gain that any State in Australia has ever achieved.
As well as the resolution being a conservation gain, New South Wales has a sustainable timber industry that will bring real jobs and export income in the future. It is worth detailing some of the benefits. First and foremost, it ends 20 years of conflict in our community in regard to the forests. That conflict has been part of the social and political landscape of the State for too long. It has brought division, disenchantment with the role of government and, importantly, both emotional and physical pain for thousands of citizens. That is over now. The parties that we always thought were at the extremes of the debate have been brought together in a cooperative manner. The result is due not only to the good faith of all the parties involved but also to the model that was brought to bear through the Resource and Conservation Assessment Council process over many months to make a decision cooperatively.
Sid Walker, spokesman for the New South Wales Conservation Foundation, said as much when he said that it was a blueprint for national reform. It is a blueprint that can be used in the forest debate across the nation. It is a blueprint that can also be used in other contentious areas of government activity throughout the nation. I am sure that all honourable members will welcome the resultant peace in the forests. The resolution brings to an end a blight that has been on our community for too long. Second, I shall deal with the benefits that this package will provide to the timber industry and the union movement. New South Wales has a sustainable timber industry based on a renewable resource with value adding. The industry now has resource security, which will result in an efficient, high technology and ecologically sustainable sawlog timber industry. That is not to say that there will not be pain in the next 10 years as the industry works out where it is going, but the necessary reinvestment and redeployment will certainly be made much easier by the $120 million package.
Finally, the most pleasing aspect for me - and on which I reflect the views of my electorate - is the outstanding national park and wilderness outcome. The resolution is truly historic and delivers on the Government's promises. It clearly reflects the desires of the people of New South Wales. The wilderness and national park aspect of the package is breathtaking in its vision and in what it delivers. It delivers 10 new parks - that is a total of 37 since we came to office - including a magnificent 120,000-hectare park in the south-east that protects those icon areas that have been a battlefield for a generation. It delivers 12 new wilderness areas, that is, a total of 500,000 hectares since we came to office. The Premier rightly called it a wonderful legacy for future generations of citizens of this State. This should be a proud day for us all. It is deeply satisfying to be a member of the Carr Government that has produced such a result. The resolution will be welcomed in my electorate. I have received more than 650 letters calling for such a decision. It will end years of disquiet and bitterness. Future generations will thank us for this. In years to come they will wonder why it took so long to get to this position. A tribute must be paid to the industry, the union and the environmentalists. I mention Mr Noel Plumb from the Ryde-Hunters Hill Flora and Fauna Preservation Society, who played a leading role in bringing about this decision. [Time expired.]
Mr YEADON (Granville - Minister for Land and Water Conservation) [4.20], in reply: I know that it is cold and lonely on the Opposition benches.
Mr Hazzard: Was that your experience?
Mr YEADON: No, but I know that that is what Opposition members are experiencing at the moment. It is sometimes tough in opposition, but that is part of political life. We had a clear indication of how cold and lonely it was on the Opposition benches from the contribution made by the honourable member for Ballina. He referred earlier to stakeholders and also to the union. He said that the union had to take this matter back to its membership. That is right. I have been involved in the union movement for many years and I know that the union membership has to endorse any decision that is made. That does not mean that the union does not endorse it, but it has to do the right and proper thing by going back to its membership to achieve that endorsement. I know that Opposition members are unfamiliar with the democratic process, but the best thing that the honourable member for Ballina could come up with was that the union would have to take this issue back to its membership.
The honourable member for Ballina referred also to the environment movement, which I will deal with later. However, he made no mention of industry representatives. Industry representatives do not like members of the Opposition. Yesterday I attended a quarterly meeting of the Forest Products Association and I can assure Opposition members that industry representatives do not like them. After I completed my address to the association I spoke to members of the FPA, many of whom said, "The former Government talked and talked and promised us everything, but it gave us nothing." The other key stakeholder in this issue is the environment movement. The honourable member for Ballina fell back on his old, well-worn track when he said that the environmental movement was insatiable. He is right. I am familiar with the environmental movement. One of the things that Opposition members cannot comprehend is that this Government is not taking an ad hoc approach to this issue, which is what happened in the past.
The Federal and State governments are adopting a national approach under the national forest policy statement. We are working in concert to implement that national forest policy statement and we are undertaking comprehensive regional assessments in order to establish a representative and adequate reserve system. This whole issue is being dealt with comprehensively. At the end of the day, after scientific and comprehensive regional assessments, we will rule off this debate forever and
a day. If the environmental movement comes back after that and says, "More, please, sir," the answer will be, "No. We have a comprehensive, representative and adequate reserve system." The former Government signed the national forest policy statement, which it was politically incapable of dealing with. However, that statement is the answer to this long-running issue. This Government has adopted that approach. It is dealing with this issue comprehensively once and for all.
The honourable member for Ballina referred also to the redundancy package. It is unfortunate that, at this stage of the game, more emphasis has been placed on redundancies on exit. People who decided that they did not want a future in the industry left the industry prior to the decision by this Government. However, this Government has now provided resource security with tradeable and divisible term agreements which will enable industry to rationalise itself. The Government has built market factors into the rationalisation of industry. It is not picking winners and losers; it is allowing for a market-based approach. I know that this hurts Opposition members really badly, but that is the way it is. The honourable member for Ballina expressed concern about the private forestry issue. He is right out of sync with his Federal colleagues. Over the past few weeks this Government has had discussions with the Federal Government about purchasing private forestry to supplement its resources. The Federal Minister thought that that was a great idea. [Time expired.]
Question - That the motion be agreed to - put.
The House divided.
Mr Carr said major changes in future would require the department concerned to prepare a Rural Communities Impact Statement.
Ms Allan Mr Markham
Mr Amery Mr Martin
Mr Anderson Ms Meagher
Ms Andrews Mr Mills
Mr Aquilina Ms Moore
Mrs Beamer Mr Moss
Mr Clough Mr Nagle
Mr Crittenden Mr Neilly
Mr Debus Ms Nori
Mr Face Mr E. T. Page
Mr Gaudry Mr Price
Mr Gibson Dr Refshauge
Mrs Grusovin Mr Rogan
Ms Hall Mr Rumble
Mr Harrison Mr Scully
Ms Harrison Mr Stewart
Mr Hunter Mr Sullivan
Mr Iemma Mr Tripodi
Mr Knowles Mr Watkins
Mr Langton Mr Whelan
Mrs Lo Po' Mr Woods
Mr Lynch Mr Yeadon
Dr Macdonald Tellers,
Mr McBride Mr Beckroge
Mr McManus Mr Thompson
Mr Armstrong Mr O'Farrell
Mr Beck Mr D. L. Page
Mr Blackmore Mr Peacocke
Mr Brogden Mr Photios
Mr Chappell Mr Richardson
Mrs Chikarovski Mr Rozzoli
Mr Cochran Mr Schipp
Mr Collins Mr Schultz
Mr Debnam Ms Seaton
Mr Downy Mrs Skinner
Mr Ellis Mr Slack-Smith
Ms Ficarra Mr Small
Mr Fraser Mr Smith
Mr Glachan Mr Souris
Mr Hartcher Mr Tink
Mr Hazzard Mr J. H. Turner
Mr Humpherson Mr R. W. Turner
Dr Kernohan Mr Windsor
Mr MacCarthy Tellers,
Mr Merton Mr Jeffery
Mr O'Doherty Mr Kerr
Mr Carr Mr Cruickshank
Mr Knight Mr Kinross
Mr Shedden Mr Phillips
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion agreed to.