Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (22 May) . . Page.. 1631 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
Mr Speaker, I hope that members will take seriously the blueprint outlined in this document. It is a very important plan for how we approach the design and redesign of our city for at least the next decade. We will need to implement the recommendations contained in this document on a progressive basis. Members should not imagine that the Government will announce in the coming budget a program to put in place all the recommendations in this report; that simply would be impossible. It is a task for at least the next decade to progressively put in place changes in design and outcome that we feel will acknowledge and respect the role we need to play in redesigning our city. Mr Speaker, I thank members for their support, and I hope that this will be an important milestone towards getting a safer city.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Mr Humphries) proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
MS HORODNY (4.00): I will speak in the adjournment debate, as I missed the debate on forests and timber before. One of the first points Mr Humphries makes in his ministerial statement on the Assembly resolution on the Australian timber industry is that the ACT is a small player in the national scene. Mr Humphries, unfortunately, this is only half the story. I do not know whether you frequent hardware stores in the ACT, but if you did you would know that we are major consumers of a lot of timber that is not just plantation softwood. We sell Victorian ash, we sell brush box, we sell Tasmanian oak, and we also sell meranti, which is harvested from the forests of Malaysia. That is a rainforest species that grows in Malaysia and often sells at a much lower price than our locally grown plantation pine because of the pillage mentality of some of the multinational companies that work in Malaysia. Indigenous people are displaced, while their homes in the forests are destroyed for this timber.
This is the wood we are selling right here in the ACT, so I refute absolutely the proposition that because we harvest only plantation timber in the ACT we can therefore wash our hands of the whole forest debate and say that we are behaving appropriately and that it is not our problem. It is very much our problem because of the timbers we do sell in the ACT. This situation is, unfortunately, one that successive governments have actively endorsed. Mr Humphries said that it is unlikely that plantations will be able to replace production from native forests in the near future. Already over 60 per cent of our demand for veneers, plywoods, medium hardboards, sawn timber and pulp is supplied by plantations. These are all value-added products, and that is the reality of the