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Resources – Macquarie Point Stockpile

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 26 November 2020

Tags: Macquarie Point, Native Forest Logging

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, you did not go near the issue of the fact that very few credible markets will accept non FSC-certified wood products, but I will move onto the next part of the question which is related. When you talk to people who live in and around Hobart and particularly people who go past Macquarie Point on a regular basis, it is quite apparent that the stockpile of whole logs at Macquarie Point has grown. Can you confirm the volumes that you know of that are sitting on Macquarie Point and can you explain why the stockpile at Mac Point is so very large at the moment?

Mr BARNETT - Thank you for the question. I am not the CEO of TasPorts, nor am I the minister for Infrastructure who is responsible for TasPorts, and I draw your attention to the Chair's recent comments about GBE hearings.

Having said that, the industry has had feedback and there is an impact on log exports into China from Tasmania and across other parts of Australia. It is being monitored very carefully. We're getting feedback from the industry and with respect to the specifics I think you will need to ask TasPorts. I don't know the exact volumes.

Ms O'CONNOR - On volume.

Mr BARNETT - I don't know the exact volumes of what's sitting on Macquarie Point and obviously that changes from week to week as vessels come and go. I want to put on the record the importance of it being a working port. Others around this table may have a different view. It is my view and that of the Government that it is a working port and we are thankful for that because it provides opportunities for our productive industries in Tasmania to get product to market.

Ms O'CONNOR - I am just asking you to confirm, finally, that the reason that the stockpile of whole logs on the wharf here is so substantial is because Tasmania too is suffering the consequences of China's punitive trade strategy towards Australia.

Mr BARNETT - I wouldn't want to comment on the last part of your question and impugn anybody's motives or intentions or any entity's motives or intentions. As I said earlier, vessels come and go to Macquarie Point and in the interim there is obviously resource that is put on the port ready for a vessel to take that product to market. It's a working port so whether it's whole logs or other product from time to time, it is placed on the port and is managed by TasPorts in an appropriate way and that's how it operates.