Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 2988 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
Part 4 of the resolution considers that the ACT Government should adopt a policy of purchasing timber products that are recycled or sourced from plantations wherever possible. The timber used by the ACT Government consists of both softwood and hardwood. The softwood timber is obtained from plantations, as there are no Australian softwoods suitable or commercially available for construction purposes. The majority of hardwood timber is obtained from State forest areas, as there are insufficient hardwood plantations in Australia to meet the demands. There are also certain building applications where only hardwood is suitable - for example, bridge construction and flooring joists.
The Department of Primary Industries advises that hardwood plantations are currently being established throughout Australia and it takes approximately 10 years for the harvesting of thinnings suitable for pulp manufacture and 40 to 50 years for timbers suitable for construction. The manufacture of paper products requires the use of either or both softwood and hardwood fibres as the characteristics of each timber are necessary to produce different paper products. The ACT Government's major paper usage is photocopy and laser printer paper which requires hardwood fibres in its manufacture. The ACT Government is also a major user of recycled paper, and an ACT purchasing circular has been issued encouraging its use by agencies. All softwood timber used in paper manufacture is obtained from plantations. However, there are insufficient hardwood plantations within Australia to meet the needs of paper manufacturers and the majority of this timber is obtained from State forests. Approximately 50 per cent of all pulp used in paper manufacture was imported.
The Government is also currently developing an environmental purchasing policy that will address the Government's commitment to environmental issues. Mr Speaker, within the above constraints, the Government will purchase timber products that are recycled or sourced from plantations or certified sustainable managed native forests under the regional forest agreement whenever that is possible. I present the following paper:
Australian Timber Industry - Implementation of Assembly Resolution - ministerial statement, 13 December 1995.
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
Debate (on motion by Ms Horodny) adjourned.