Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for RESOURCES, Ms COURTNEY
Just days after you took over the portfolio, it was revealed Patriarch and Sons, a company with clear links to environmental vandals, Shin Yang, were planning to begin logging native forest in Tasmania and establish a processing facility in the Tamar Valley.
Mr Hodgman - More racism, isn't it?
Ms O'CONNOR - What?
Mr O'Byrne - He called you a racist.
Mr Hodgman - One of your colleagues said you were racist in your undertones. Dog whistling.
Ms O'CONNOR - What?
Madam SPEAKER - Premier, I ask you to withdraw that. Thank you.
Ms O'CONNOR - Yes, absolutely.
Mr Hodgman - Certainly, I will, Madam Speaker, if she is offended by what her Greens colleagues said.
Madam SPEAKER - Enough. Please continue.
Ms O'BYRNE - Point of order, Madam Speaker. If the Premier is withdrawing that, he needs to stand so Hansard records it.
Ms O'CONNOR - I ask the Premier to withdraw it.
Madam SPEAKER - I ask the Premier to stand and withdraw it, please.
Mr HODGMAN - I withdraw.
Ms O'CONNOR - Keep sucking up to the Chinese government.
Ms O'CONNOR - Of course I took offence. The problem is that you people cannot tell the difference.
Minister, satellite imagery of Shin Yang's logging operations in Borneo reveal illegal logging on steep slopes and intensified logging in an area slated for national park. Patriarch and Sons' parent company, Shin Yang, is notorious for illegal rainforest logging and human rights violations. Is this the company your Government's open-for-business mantra supports operating in Tasmania's forests? Will Patriarch and Sons source their timber from the 356 000 hectares of high-conservation-value forest set aside for reserves or the rainforest reserves and conservation areas your Government is opening up to the loggers?
Madam Speaker, the Hodgman Liberal Government is unashamedly proud of our forestry industry, unlike some of those in this room. We have a strong industry. It is adding value to timber processing which, from I understand, is what the Greens called upon all along: downstream processing in Tasmania, adding value here, ensuring we have the best value products in Tasmania to create jobs for Tasmanians. The Hodgman Government is unashamed of creating jobs, supporting industry to create jobs and making sure we have the right investment environment.
We have supported the creation of 15 000 new jobs. That is in stark contrast -
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker, on relevance. This has nothing to do with the question. The question to the minister is: will this company of rampant loggers from Borneo be sourcing their timber out of high-conservation-value forests?
Madam SPEAKER - That is not a point of order. The minister has heard your question.
Ms COURTNEY - Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Confidence is up, investment is up, prices are up, production has more than doubled, jobs are flowing and exports are at a 10-year high. The industry is one of the best in the world. That is why companies like Patriarch are coming to Tasmania because of what we do. I am advised Patriarch is looking to process, at Bell Bay, wood that is exported either as woodchips or whole logs. In other words, rather than exporting the value-adding opportunity is being created here in Tasmania, creating Tasmanian jobs in northern Tasmania.
The Greens always criticise - the hypocrisy of them with regard to forestry.
Ms O'Connor - We do criticise illegal loggers. Yes, someone in here has to.
Ms COURTNEY - We stand up for jobs in Tasmania, Ms O'Connor.
Madam SPEAKER - Through the Chair, please.
Ms COURTNEY - If they are concerned about practices in Asia they should be welcoming companies here where we have good standards in Tasmania. Ms O'Connor knows that the wood harvested in Tasmania has to comply with world-class standards. That will continue. To suggest otherwise is absolutely trying to mudrake a company that is trying invest here and create jobs in northern Tasmania. It is the same old Greens and they are going to be followed by the same old Labor.