Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1774 ..

MR MOORE (11.07): Mr Speaker, the ACT does have a significant forestry industry, but it is a plantation industry. One of the positive aspects of Ms Horodny's motion is that there are some employment advantages and economic advantages specifically to the ACT, and I do not think that we should lose sight of those. It is appropriate for our Chief Minister to write to the Prime Minister, having the interests of the ACT at heart. It would be appropriate for us also to be conscious of the environmental advantage of those industries.

For years, Mr Speaker, we have heard people arguing that we should not stop cutting our native forests just yet; we should go on a little bit further and take a little bit more while we work our way to a solution. There has been a great deal of pressure from the logging industry in that way. Instead of working at alternatives, the logging industry has worked particularly hard in its lobbying practice at ensuring that they can continue the sorts of practices that they have been following for, I guess, the best part of 200 years in Australia. During our own election period, Mr Speaker, we saw the effect of that logging industry. Huge numbers of trucks were parked around Parliament House and, by and large, it appeared that they were allowed to remain there. I must put this qualification: If I were a police officer I would not want to be the one trying to moving them either. I realise that there were some difficulties, not only because of the size of the trucks but also because of the size of the drivers, on many occasions.

Mr Speaker, it seems to me that what Ms Horodny has put up is a perfectly rational motion. It does not need to be watered down. Having listened to our colleagues from the Liberal Party and the Labor Party, I think that, as usual, they are looking for ways to find a soft way through. When we are talking about the protection of our environment, particularly our native forests and the ecosystems in those forests, it is appropriate for us to take a hard line. That is what Ms Horodny's motion does, and I must say that I consider that entirely appropriate, and that is apart from the economic advantage to the ACT itself. That is the first point.

The second point, Mr Speaker, is the Government's purchase of papers. It seems to me, again, perfectly logical that this Government should be using its buying power in the most environmentally appropriate way. The suggestion of Ms Horodny in the motion is that the Government cease purchasing any timbers or papers that are not recycled or sourced from plantations. One would have to add "in as far as that is possible", because there will be circumstances where it will be very difficult to find that out. I think, however, that we have available to us information as to where that is sourced. In regard to paragraphs (2) and (3) of the motion, Ms Tucker or Ms Horodny indicated to me that there are lists available as to which companies are providing paper that is appropriately sourced.

This is similar in some ways, Mr Speaker, to a debate that we had at the beginning of the First Assembly in about 1990 in which we discussed whether we should be using recycled paper in our photocopiers. The Assembly determined - I do not recall whether we did this on an informal basis or whether we did it in the Assembly as a whole - that, where possible, we would buy paper that had been recycled. By and large, that matter was also a matter for the Government. I know that Rosemary Follett, as Chief Minister, at that stage gave a direction that recycled paper would be used by her government departments where at all possible. At the time there was a lot of argument. It was said that it was impossible because it would stuff up photocopiers and things would not work.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .