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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1775 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

There were all sorts of arguments along those lines. When people were forced to use recycled paper in photocopiers and so on they found that it did work. We were able to buy the paper that we needed. That was a positive move from the then Labor Government. It was a far-sighted move in so far as it overrode some of those objections. There will always be objections to this sort of motion. There will always be people who will say, "No, it is not possible; we cannot do it", instead of thinking in a positive way and saying "How can we do it?". It is much easier to try to work out the problems.

I think in this case that Ms Horodny has rightly put up a motion that is designed specifically to say that it really is time to protect our native forests and our flora and fauna and through that process protect whole ecosystems. Mr Speaker, this is a sensible motion. It does not need to be watered down and I think that it should remain as put by Ms Horodny.

MS HORODNY (11.13): Mr Berry has moved that all words after "the Australian Timber Industry are" be replaced with the words "working towards the supply of our total domestic needs". Mr Berry said in his argument that he thought it was an overstatement when I said that the vast majority of our domestic needs are already supplied by the plantation sector. Mr Berry has not done the research in this area that I have; so, unfortunately, he does not know. Figures that I know to be true show that somewhere between 61 per cent and 65 per cent of our domestic needs in veneers, plywoods, medium-density hardboards, pulp and sawn timber are already sourced from plantations. That is a fact and I can table relevant documents if you need them.

Mr Berry also talked about regional forest agreements. He seems to be quite happy to rest on that as a process that will solve all our problems. This whole concept of regional forest agreements is fundamentally flawed. This is what the conservation movement is lobbying about right at this minute up at Parliament House. It is fundamentally flawed because it is about resource security, yet again. It is not about protecting wilderness. It is not about keeping large tracts of forest intact for the protection of our flora and fauna. It is, once again, about fragmenting and dissecting our last remaining areas of wilderness forest. It is about keeping an industry - a dying industry, I might add; a hardwood industry that is dying for its own reasons, because of overlogging and because of competition from the plantation sector which, for every reason, is a much more sustainable industry.

Because that sector is dying we should not be propping up that sector of the industry. That is the whole point that I was making in my speech. The plantation sector is viable. It makes economic sense. It does not disturb ecology; it does not disturb wildlife. The industry prefers it. You have uniformity of a product. For every reason, it is the one that makes sense, and it is where the future of the timber industry is heading. There is no doubt about that. The decision that we make now is whether we continue propping up a dying industry with taxpayers' funds or whether we move an industry that is hitting a brick wall anyway into plantations now.

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