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National Association of Forest Industries
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National Association of Forest Industries


Newsletter of
The National Association of Forest Industries

July/August 1999



Regional Forest Agreements


Public Affairs


General Information


From the acting executive director

The debate on the Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) Bill has now resumed in the Senate.

In a little over 2 hours on Monday 9 August, 3 Labor Senators, 3 Democrats and one Green held forth on various subjects related to the forests, but few of them related to the Bill. The objectives of the bill are relatively modest: to give a measure of legislative backing to the commitments the Commonwealth has made in signing RFAs with state governments. It does not add to or subtract from the requirements for RFAs themselves (although the ALP's proposed amendments seek to do that in a substantial way). Nevertheless, the Bill is being treated as an opportunity for a full scale review of forest policy and forest management issues.

Whatever sign there may have been in the wake of the GST debate that the Democrats would take a more critical approach to the insistent demands of green groups has evaporated. The ALP, which has previously said that it would not oppose the Bill, did not reiterate that commitment during the resumed debate.

The debate will be very long. All nine Democrat Senators are listed to speak in the Second Reading Debate stage. Debate resumes on 23 August.

Warren Lang

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