Bills Digest No. 61 2001-02
Regional Forest Agreements Bill 2001
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be
consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the
Contact Officer & Copyright Details
Regional Forest Agreements Bill
Date Introduced: 29 August 2001
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Forestry and Conservation
Commencement: On a day to be fixed by
Proclamation, or failing that, six months after Royal
To give legislative effect to certain provisions
of the Commonwealth-State Regional Forest Agreements - particularly
provisions on compensation and exclusion of specified Commonwealth
laws - and provide legislative recognition of the existence and
work of the Forest and Wood Products Council. The Bill effectively
replaces the Regional Forest Agreements Bill 1998.
This background section traces the origin of the
Regional Forest Agreements Bill 1998(1) and summarises
the main sticking points behind the failure of the Parliament to
pass that Bill in 1999. What differences there are between the 1998
and 2001 Bills are discussed in the main provisions section.
Regional Forest Agreements
In 1992, the Commonwealth and the States and
Territories signed the National Forest Policy Statement (NFPS). The
NFPS outlined agreed objectives and policies for the future of
Australia's public and private native forests.(2) As
part of implementing the NFPS governments agreed that forest
regions would go through a comprehensive assessment process of all
forest values - environmental, heritage, economic and social -
leading to the establishment a comprehensive and adequate reserve
(CAR) system, agreements on forest management, and the signing of
Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) between the Commonwealth and the
Collectively, the RFAs are intended to provide a
blueprint for the future management of Australian forests, and the
basis for an internationally competitive and ecologically
sustainable forest products industry.(3) They are
intended to clearly identify those forest resources available for
multiple use, including resources for sustainable timber
harvesting. As shown in the following table, ten RFAs have been
signed across 4 states.
Table 1: Regional Forestry
East Gippsland, Victoria
Central Highlands, Victoria
South-West Western Australia
North East Victoria
As part of the RFA process, a joint Commonwealth-State Forest
Industry Structural Adjustment Package (FISAP) was established to
help forest industry businesses and workers adjust to reductions in
the native forest resources available to industry
resulting from the RFAs. According to the website of the Department
of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, around $100 million of
Commonwealth FISAP funding is available over
1996-2003.(4) However, in Queensland there has only been
limited funding due to the failure of the respective governments to
sign a RFA.(5) In Western Australia only a 'negligible
amount' has been released by the Commonwealth to date due to the
alleged failure of the Western Australian Government to implement
the RFA,(6) although the Commonwealth has recently
announced its intention to advertise for expressions of interest
from businesses involved in the WA hardwood forestry industry for
'direct' Commonwealth financial assistance.(7)
Table 2: Forest Industry Structural Adjustment Package
Spent to 30 June 2001
Notes: Figures are millions of
The $8.82 million of 'other payments' includes
rescheduling assistance payments in Tasmania, past Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries Departmental Costs (not attributed to
individual states), direct Interim Hardship payments and
expenditure and running costs by the Department of Employment,
Workplace Relations and Small Business on the Forest Industry
Labour Adjustment Package (FILAP) (where not attributed to
individual states) and monies returned to consolidated revenue by
that portfolio. AFFA assumed administrative responsibility for
FILAP with effect from 1 July 2001.
The amounts spent to end June 2001 include FILAP payments
attributed to individual states.
Tasmania received substantial funding over $100 million as part
of the RFA process for that state and this is not included in the
above. Tasmania does not have an ongoing FISAP program.
Source: Personal communication, Commonwealth Department of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
While the contents of the respective RFAs vary
somewhat, a key feature of all the RFAs except East Gippsland has
been the compensation provisions. Typically, these provide that if,
in order to protect environment or related values in native
forests, the Commonwealth breaches the RFA in a way that curtails
the use of land outside the reserve system, or the sale or
commercial use of forest products sourced from land outside the
reserve system, the Commonwealth will pay compensation to the State
concerned acting as a trustee for the person or company who has
The origin and content of the 1998
Regional Forest Agreements Bill
In February 1998, Senator Bob Brown, obtained a
legal opinion that concluded the Tasmanian RFA was ' statement of
intent only and has no legal effect'.(8) If correct, one
of the obvious consequences of this opinion was that the RFA's
compensation provisions would not be legally enforceable. Around
this time, the Government started to prepare the 1998 Bill. In
response to a Question on Notice from Senator Brown on 2 April
1998, as to the Government's rationale for the Bill, Senator Hill
Only part three of the Tasmanian and Central
Highland RFAs is expressed to be legally binding. The primary
reason for the legislation is to give effect to some key provisions
which are not expressed to be legally binding...thereby providing
greater certainty about the operation of RFAs.
The compensation provisions are contained in
Part three of the RFAs. The implication of Senator Hill's statement
is that the Government considered, at least on the balance of
probabilities, that the compensation provisions were legally
enforceable without any legislation. However, later statements by
the Government indicate that questions over the legal enforcability
of the compensation provisions in the RFA were a motivating factor
behind the Bill:(10)
...the Commonwealth has introduced its Regional
Forest Agreement Bill, to ensure that the compensation provisions
of RFAs are legally enforceable against the Commonwealth.
The initial version of the Regional Forest
Agreements Bill was introduced into Parliament in mid 1998. Its
passage through Parliament was halted by the Commonwealth election
in October 1998. It was re-introduced in November 1998 and passed
by the House of Representatives in February 1999.
The Bill was very short with only 8 sections
covering only about 4 pages. Key provisions were:
- definitions of what constituted an RFA and an RFA forestry
- that RFA forestry operations were exempted from the operation
of various Commonwealth environment and export control laws,
- that the Commonwealth was liable to pay compensation where this
was required under the relevant provisions of an RFA.
sticking points in the 1999 Parliamentary debate
On 9 December 1998, the Bill was referred to the
Senate's Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation
Committee. The Committee reported on 25 February 1999. The
Chairman's report recommended that the Bill be passed unamended.
Separate dissenting reports were given by the ALP, the Democrats
and the Australian Greens. The ALP and the Democrats considered
that more time was required to address various aspects of the Bill.
The Greens opposed the Bill outright.
While the Bill was introduced into the Senate in
February 1999, substantive debate did not begin until August. The
Senate made significant amendments to the Bill (the Senate
amendments) but these were rejected by the House of Representatives
in October 1999. The Senate insisted on the amendments and again
sent the Bill back. The Government continued to oppose the Senate
amendments and with the Houses deadlocked, the 1998 Bill was not
debated again in either 2000 or 2001.
There were five main sticking points between the
Government position and the Senate amendments.
As introduced in 1998, the Bill had no objects
clause or similar statement of intent. The ALP introduced an
objects clause that made specific reference to the
NFPS.(11) The purpose of the clause was 'to ensure RFAs
are consistent with the NFPS'. The consistency was to be judged
with reference to a number of criteria, which were directly derived
from the list of 'national goals' contained in NFPS. The criteria
also required that the precautionary principle be applied in a RFA.
The Democrats proposed an amendment to the ALP's objects clause
that would require an RFA to be consistent with the 1995 National
Competition Policy Agreement(12) but was this was not
supported by the ALP.
In opposing the ALP's objects clause of Senate
amendments, the Government said(13)
...we have grave concerns about an objects
clause because that just opens up the opportunity for people who
seem to have heaps and heaps of money to take someone to court
after the event when they have committed their billion bucks in a
paper making plant and say, 'You cannot do this because RFA No. 5
in Victoria does not meet the objects of the act.' That is a great
opportunity for a couple of lawyers to make a lot of money. The
fact of life is that investors do not want that problem; they want
uncontestable arrangements. That is what you achieve with an
objects clause: you start to create opportunities for litigation.
That is why I think it was totally unnecessary. But we were
prepared to have some limited objects that we felt would not open
the legislation to that sort of litigation, and we said so.
On this basis, the 2001 Bill actually contains a
short objects clause. This is discussed in the main provisions
section of this Digest.
Parliamentary scrutiny and
The ALP successfully moved a Senate amendment
that, amongst other things, would mean that an RFA made after 1
March 1999(14) would only be an RFA for the purposes of
the Act if it were made in accordance with proposed parliamentary
scrutiny provisions. This meant that if an RFA did not comply with
this requirement, the Bill would not apply to it, thus defeating
the Government's purpose in relation to the enforcebility of RFA
At the heart of the scrutiny provisions was the
requirement for RFAs to be tabled and the ability of either House
to disallow them within 15 sitting days of tabling. The rationale
for this amendment was that the(15)
Regional forest agreements have a long term and
massive impact on our forests. Therefore, it is quite reasonable
that the Senate and this House ask for better scrutiny. It is
reasonable that the regional forest agreements be subjected to
public scrutiny before their final ratification. In Western
Australia, the Regional Forest Agreement was signed off before
anybody else saw it. There was no public scrutiny. That is the way
this operates.... The Senate disallowance, in my view, is the best
mechanism for making sure there is proper public scrutiny of these
very important agreements.
The Government opposed the disallowance
provisions for two reasons. The first related to the possibility of
an opened-end delay:(16)
The RFA process itself involves both
comprehensive scientific assessment and comprehensive stakeholder
engagement. On what basis will a house of parliament be better
placed to determine whether an RFA is appropriate or not?... if the
RFA is disapproved, there is no requirement under the proposed
amendment for the disapproving house to specify what aspects of the
RFA are not acceptable...so one could envisage extensive rounds of
submission and resubmission of a draft RFA without any positive
resolution. These proposed amendments are a recipe for
uncertainty....it will produce yet another process that has no
The other reason was the question of whether a
disallowance process would be invalid due to inconsistency with
section 99 of the Commonwealth Constitution. Section 99 provides
the Commonwealth shall not, by any law or
regulation of trade, commerce, or revenue, give preference to one
State or any part thereof over another State or any part
Advice from the Australian Government Solicitor
indicated that, amongst other things, as the disallowance procedure
would only apply to post-March 1999 RFAs, this would constitute
section 99 preferential treatment.(17)
This view was rejected by the shadow Justice
Minister, Duncan Kerr, who said(18)
The proposition that has been put forward that
the bill may be vulnerable to legal challenge is false. It has been
done on the basis of an opinion provided by the Office of General
Counsel, dated 10 August 1999. The thrust of that opinion is that
the amendments would create two possible outcomes that could result
in an infringement of section 99 and that the bill itself if
amended as proposed would probably infringe section 99. Both
propositions are expressed in the most qualified of language and
are wrong. Moreover, the reasoning supporting them conflicts with
the considered advice, dated 12 February, tendered to the
parliament by the Office of General Counsel to the Senate Rural and
Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, whose report
has been published in this parliament.
Indeed Mr Kerr argued that the possibility of
the High Court reassessing its historical approach to section 99
might result in questions being asked whether the Government's form
of the Bill was consistent with section 99:(19)
If the High Court would set aside its hither-to
unanimity, then that issue would arise irrespective of the course
of this debate. Indeed, from a positive point of view, it may be
argued that the disallowance mechanism actually provides the means
for this parliament to ensure greater opportunity to ensure
compliance with the equality of treatment provisions mandated by
Application of the
Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999 to RFA regions
Subclause 5(3) of the 1998 Bill excluded the
operation of the environment assessment provisions of the
Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1975
(EPIPA) and the ability of the Governor-General to invoke the
protective measures of the World Heritage Properties
Conservation Act 1983 (WHCPA).
After the Bill had passed the House and been
introduced into the Senate but before substantive debate on the
Bill had commenced in the Senate, the Environmental Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EBPCA) was passed,
which repealed both the EPIPA and the WHCPA, although the EPBCA was
not to come into effect until July 2000. Part 3 of the EPBCA
effectively replaced the EPIPA assessment provisions and WHCPA
invoking measures mentioned above.
Section 38 of the EPBCA enabled a person to
undertake RFA forestry operations without being subject to the
requirement for environmental approvals under Part 3 of the EPBCA.
However, under section 42, section 38 did not apply to forestry
- in a property included in the World Heritage List; or
- in a wetland included in the List of Wetlands of International
Importance kept under the Ramsar Convention; or
- that are incidental to another action whose primary purpose
does not relate to forestry.
A Senate amendment incorporated similar language
to that of EPBCA section 42 into subclause 5(3) of the Bill.
Without these amendments subclause 5(3) would have likely negated
section 42 EPBCA on the general principle that, where there is
inconsistency between two pieces of legislation, the more recent
legislation should prevail.
The Senate amendment was opposed by the
The government does not agree that this proposed
amendment is necessary....The RFA Bill provides support for RFA
forestry operations by exempting such operations from existing
environmental and heritage legislation. The EPBC Act complements
the RFA Bill by ensuring that environmental assessment and approval
requirements relating to RFA forestry operations which are
satisfied under the RFA process are not revisited under the new
environmental legislation while an RFA is in force. So we will not
be supporting this amendment.
However, this statement does not seem to
recognise the effect of section 42 of the EPBCA on section 38. The
Senate amendment of subclause 5(3) simply attempted to preserve the
status quo with respect to section 42. Of course, a RFA may itself
prohibit forestry operations in World Heritage or Ramsar
As introduced by the Government, the Bill
provided that 'the Commonwealth is liable to pay any compensation
that the Commonwealth is required to pay a State in accordance with
the compensation provisions of an RFA.'(22)
The Senate altered this to 'the Commonwealth is
liable to pay any compensation in relation to actual losses
arising from the loss of legally exercisable rights that the
Commonwealth is required to pay a State in accordance with the
compensation provisions of the RFA for a breach amendment or
termination of any RFA.'(23) The ALP stated
...the opposition supports the concept of
compensation and is happy to clarify any legal uncertainties.
Equally, we have an obligation to protect the interests of the
taxpayers of this country. We believe the bill is deficient in
failing to properly define the extent of the Commonwealth's
potential compensation liability. Senate amendments (10) to (13) do
this, chiefly by linking compensation to `actual losses arising
from the loss of legally exercisable rights'.
This amendment was rejected by the Government,
...also rejects the Senate amendments which
propose to alter the compensation clause in the bill in a way that
not only is confused but will have no effect, as the liability to
pay compensation continues to arise out of the terms of the RFA
itself. It is unclear as to what the term `losses arising from the
loss of legally exercisable rights' actually means. It is clearly
designed to open opportunities for litigation and create
uncertainty in terms of the compensation a dispossessed company
would otherwise anticipate.
An industry advisory
The 1998 Bill as introduced made no provision
for an advisory industry council. Whilst in government, the ALP
planned to establish a council to 'drive' the implementation of its
Wood and Paper Industry Strategy(26), released
in December 1995. Chaired by the responsible Commonwealth Minister,
the Council membership was to be drawn from industry, unions, the
States, local government, the scientific community and the
conservation movement.(27) The members of the Council
were announced in January 1996, but it appears the Council was
abolished after the new Government came to
However, during the Coalition's second term, the
Government and industry stakeholders developed what was to become
the Forest and Wood Products Industry Action Agenda - Forest
and Wood Futures (the Action Agenda).(29) The
Government's September 2000 response to the Action Agenda included
a commitment to establish a Forest and Wood Products Council. The
Council has met 3 times since November 2000, including the latest
meeting in September 2001. The Council is chaired by the Forestry
and Conservation Minister, the Hon Wilson Tuckey. There is one
union representative on the Council, with the remainder being
timber industry representatives, including in the furnishings and
timber merchants sector. There are no conservation or tourism
representatives amongst designated observers to the Council.
The issue of an industry council was also
examined by the Senate committee inquiring into the 1998 Bill. The
Chairman's report recommended a council be established, although it
did not make any recommendations as to whether it should have a
statutory basis or what its role and membership should be.
In relation to the 1999 Parliamentary debate,
the major issues of contention between the Government and the
Senate related to the Council's membership and functions.
Under the Senate's amendments to the Bill, the
provisions relating to the Council (termed a Wood and Paper
Industry Council) ran to some 20 sections. The Council's functions
reflected a very proactive body, able to undertake studies and
report to the Minister on its own initiative. It was to be a large
body of at least 15 people, with membership from a very wide range
of interest groups beyond the timber processing sector, including
unions, downstream timber users, conservation and tourism. The
Chair and Deputy chair were to be drawn from either timber
processors / user groups or union representatives.
The Governments view on this
[we agree] that a wood and paper industry
council should be established, but we on this side of the chamber
do not agree that it is necessary to spell out all the fine detail
of the membership and structure of that committee. We would sooner
have a flexible approach to this and a committee which is
structured to deal with the principles required in this area but
which can have the flexibility to change membership and direction
and to do things that are in the best interests of the timber
industry. The amendments put before us ignore the fact that rigidly
setting something in concrete in legislation such as this
effectively removes any flexibility that such an industry council
may have. It is not necessary for it to be put into
New section 3 sets out the
'main objects' of the Bill. The are:
- to give effect to certain obligations of the Commonwealth under
Regional Forest Agreements;
- to give effect to certain aspects of the Forest and Wood
Products Action Agenda and the National Forest Policy Statement;
- provide for the existence of the Forest and Wood Products
The 1998 Bill had no objects clause.
New section 4 contains a list
Notably, the definition of RFA or Regional
Forest Agreement remains the same as that in the 1998 Bill as
The definition of RFA Forestry operations has
changed. In relation to NSW, Victoria and Tasmania they are defined
forestry operations (as defined by an
RFA as in force on 1 September 2001 between the Commonwealth and
[relevant State] that are conducted in relation to land in a region
covered by the RFA (being land where those operations are not
prohibited by the RFA)
In relation to WA, it is defined as
harvesting and regeneration operations
(as defined by an RFA as in force on 1 September 2001 between the
Commonwealth and Western Australia) that are conducted in relation
to land in a region covered by the RFA (being land where those
operations are not prohibited by the RFA)
There is no definition for Queensland. The
Commonwealth and the Queensland Governments have been unable to
reach an agreement over a draft agreement(31) and hence
no RFA has been signed.
New section 5 provides that the
Bill legally binds the Commonwealth. This is unchanged from clause
4 of the 1998 Bill.
New section 6 provides that
certain Commonwealth legislation, or parts of them, do not apply to
RFA wood or RFA forestry operations. The Explanatory
Memorandum to the Bill comments that this
is because the environmental and heritage values
of these regions have been comprehensively assessed under relevant
legislation during the RFA process and the RFAs themselves contain
an agreed framework on ecologically sustainable development of
these forest regions over the next 20 years.
The effect of new subsection
6(1) provides is that measures under the Export
Control Act 1982 do not apply to RFA wood. New
subsection 6(2) excludes any other 'export control law'
applying to RFA wood, unless the relevant law expressly refers to
RFA wood. Export control law is defined as 'a provision of a law of
the Commonwealth that prohibits or restricts exports or which has
the effect of prohibiting or restricting exports'. Note that the
export controls on woodchips from regions covered by RFAs have
already been lifted by the combined effect of the Export Control
(Hardwood Woodchips) Regulations 1996 and the Export Control
(Regional Forest Agreements) Regulations 1997.
New subsection 6(3) provides
that 'the effect of RFA forestry operations must be disregarded for
the purposes section 30 of the Australian Heritage Commission
Act 1975' (AHCA). Essentially, under section 30, the
Commonwealth is constrained from taking any action which adversely
affects a place in the Register of the National Estate, unless
there is no feasible and prudent alternative to this action.
Section 30 does not provide any protection against the actions of
non-Commonwealth entities such as individuals, companies or local
or State Governments. The AHCA is itself currently the subject of
repealing legislation (the Environment and Heritage Legislation
Amendment Bill (No.2) 2000) and associated Bills. If the AHCA is
repealed, protection of Australian Heritage will mainly occur under
Part 3 of the EPBCA.
New subsection 6(4) provides
that Part 3 of the EPBCA, which deals with what matters require
Ministerial approval before they can proceed, does not apply to an
RFA forestry operation that is undertaken in accordance with an
RFA. This reflects a similar provision in section 38 of the EPBCA.
However as mentioned in the background section of this Digest,
section 38 is modified by EPBCA section 42 which in effect says
that section 38 does not apply to forestry operations affecting a
World Heritage property, Ramsar wetland or forestry operations
'incidental to another action whose primary purpose does not relate
to forestry'. Thus as argued in the background section, new
section 6 seems likely to override section 42 of the
EPBCA. The Explanatory Memorandum does not acknowledge
New section 6 is essentially
the same as clause 5 of the 1998 Bill, allowing for the fact that
the EPBCA has been passed since then.
New section 7 provides that the
Commonwealth can only terminate an RFA in the way set in the
termination provisions of the relevant RFA. One effect of
new section 7 is that if the termination
provisions of an RFA which is in force are amended after the Bill
commences, the Commonwealth could only legally terminate the RFA
under the 'old' termination provisions rather than the new version.
New section 7 would have to be amended to allow a
valid Commonwealth termination under any new provisions.
New section 7 is unchanged from
clause 6 of the 1998 Bill.
New section 8 deals with
compensation for breach of RFA by Commonwealth. It provides that
the Commonwealth is legally liable for any compensation it is
required to pay to a State pursuant to compensation provisions
contained in the relevant in force RFA. The fact that the RFA
expires or is terminated after the breach occurs does not effect
the Commonwealth's liability. If necessary, compensation may be
recovered by a State through a court action as a debt. Compensation
is payable from funds appropriated by Parliament.
New section 8 is unchanged from
clause 7 of the 1998 Bill.
New section 9 provides that the
Minister must publish a notice in the Gazette when a RFA is entered
into or ceases to be force. The notice must provide details of the
relevant region and the dates of entry into force or cessation.
New section 9 is unchanged from
clause 8 of the 1998 Bill.
New section 10 deals with the
tabling in Parliament of RFAs, amendments to RFAs, RFA annual
reports and RFA review reports. New subsections
10(1)-(2) require that the Minister must cause a copy of
an RFA to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15
sitting days after the RFA is entered into or the Bill comes into
force, whichever is the later. However, a RFA that has already been
tabled in a House before the Bill comes into force does not have to
re-tabled in that House. Amendments to RFAs must also be tabled in
each House within 15 sitting days after the amendment is made, or
the Bill comes into force, whichever is the later. The Minister
must also table RFA annual reports and RFA review reports within
the same timeframe.
New section 10 is an entirely
new section compared to the 1998 Bill, having emerged from the
negotiations in 1999.
New section 11 deals with the
Forest and Wood Products Council (the Council).
New subsection 11(1) requires
that the Minister 'must take all reasonable steps to ensure that,
at all times, there is in existence a committee known as
the...[Council]...and established under executive power of the
New subsections 11(2)-(3) set
out the objects and functions of the Council. These mainly relate
to providing advice to the Minister about the implementation of the
Forest and Wood Products Industry Action Agenda - Forest and
Wood Futures (the Action Agenda) and carrying out any tasks
specifically allocated to them under the Action Agenda. Other
objects and functions focus on liaison and cooperation between
'different sectors of the forest and wood products industry'.
In performing its functions, new
subsection 11(4) limits the Council to activities that
could be legislatively conferred on the Council under the
Constitution. In particular, the Council may perform its functions
'in relation to matters arising in the course of, or that concern'
interstate or overseas trade, constitutional corporations or any or
all of the Territories. It is noticeable that no reference is made
to the external affairs power, although this is not explicitly
excluded by new subsection 11(4).
New subsections 11(5)-(6)
require the Minister to hold meetings of the Council on request by
a majority of the Council and at least twice each calendar
New subsections 11(7)-(9)
require the Council to undertake a review in the second half of
2004 of whether should continue to exist and, if so, its functions
and procedures should be. The Council must 'consult with
stakeholders in the forest and wood products industry' in
undertaking the review. The Council must present its review report
to the Minister, who must cause the report to be tabled in both
Houses of the Parliament within 15 sitting days after receipt from
the Council. While the review must be finished by 31 December 2004,
no deadline for the preparation or presentation of the review
report to the Minister is contained in new section
New section 11 is an entirely
new section compared to the 1998 Bill.
The Bill has been modified since its
introduction in 1998. However, none of the amendments make any
significant concessions towards the Senate's previous position over
the 'sticking points' outlined earlier in this Bills Digest. The
only immediate practical implication of a failure to pass the Bill
is that doubt would remain over whether the compensation provisions
of the various RFAs are legally enforceable. On the other hand,
passing the Bill would legally reinforce the RFA compensation
provisions and modify the operation of the EPBCA and AHCA.
- See http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/bd/1998-99/99bd050.htm
for the Bills Digest for the 1998 Bill.
- The text of the NFPS can be found at the Commonwealth's RFA
website at: http://www.rfa.gov.au/rfa/national/nfps/index.html
- See Environment Forest Taskforce, Information sheet No.
1 at: http://www.rfa.gov.au/rfa/overview.html
- See http://www.affa.gov.au/docs/forestry/fisap/index.html
- The Hon Wilson Tuckey, 'Tuckey announces financial support for
Queensland native hardwood industry' Media Release 2
October 2000. For a discussion of the legalities of the
Commonwealth position on Queensland funding see J Brown, 'Beyond
Public Native Forest Logging', Environmental and Planning Law
Journal Vol 18(1) February 2001, pp. 71-92 and especially pp.
- Mairi Barton, 'Payment urged in timber standoff' West
Australian 6 June 2001.
- The Hon Wilson Tuckey and the Hon Geoff Proser, 'Commonwealth
to call for expressions of interest from WA Hardwood forestry
industry for direct Commonwealth financial assistance' Joint
Media Release 7 September 2001.
- Opinion of Gary Corr, Barrister at Law, dated 6 February 1998.
- Senator the Hon Robert Hill, Senate Debates 28 May
1998, p. 3437.
- The Hon Wilson Tuckey, 'WA Conservation Council legal opinion
misses the point' Media Release, 28 June 1999.
- Note that the ALP's objects clause also included the
establishment of an industry council, but this is dealt with
elsewhere in this digest.
- See Senate Debates, 25 August 1999 at p. 7671.
- The Hon Wilson Tuckey, House of Representatives
Debates, 9 December 1999, p. 13219.
- Presumably this date was chosen as approximately coinciding
with the release of the Senate Committee's report on the Bill.
- The Hon Carmel Lawrence, House of Representative
Debates, 13 October 1999, p 11451.
- Senator the Hon Judith Troeth, Senate Debates, 26
August 1999, p. 7820.
- Guy Aiken, AGS Senior General Counsel and Philip White, AGS
Counsel. Advice to Derek White, Department of Agriculture, Forestry
and Fisheries, dated 10 August 1999.
- The Hon Duncan Kerr, House of Representatives Debates,
13 October 1999, p. 11449.
- ibid, pp. 11449-50.
- Senator the Hon Judith Troeth, Senate Debates, 1
September, p. 8103.
- The author has not reviewed the ten RFAs currently in force as
to their attitude towards forestry operations in World Heritage or
- Clause 7.
- Italics added by author.
- Mr Laurie Ferguson, House of Representatives Debates,
13 October 1999, p. 11444.
- The Hon Wilson Tuckey, House of Representatives
Debates, 13 October 1999, p. 11442.
- Wood and Paper Industry Strategy, 1995, p. 25.
- ibid, p.26.
- The Hon Bob Collins, House of Representatives Debates,
19 March 1997, p .1842.
- See http://www.affa.gov.au/docs/forestry/action_agenda/aa_index.html
- Senator Winston Crane Senate, Debates, 24 August 1999,
- The Hon Wilson Tuckey, 'Tuckey Calls on Beattie to sign "a
proper RFA" to protect small timber towns' Media Release,
23 February 2000.
- Explanatory Memorandum, p. 7.
20 September 2001
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services
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