Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for RESOURCES, Mr ELLIS
What role did your predecessor and your department play in editing the draft swift parrot recovery plan to remove its focus on the threats of Tasmania's native forest logging industry? Did your predecessor or department make any inquiries, see any copy or contribute any advice to the recovery plan?
Now that you are minster, will you work with minister Jaensch to fix the swift parrot recovery plan to reflect the reality of forestry threats and to end logging in all swift parrot nesting and foresting and feeding habitat?
Mr Speaker, as everyone in this place knows, I am a new minister, so it was before my time, but from indications from minister Barnett just now, he was not involved at that level either.
As for working with my great friend and colleague, Mr Jaensch, we will be doing that. We do that on a regular basis across a whole range of things, because this is a Government that believes in finding the right balance between our productive industries, between jobs and also the environment.
We have a great partnership on this side, as opposed to those opposite, who do not even like being in the same room as each other. That is obviously why they were taken over by their federal counterparts.
We are strongly committed to protecting the swift parrot. Last year our budget provided over $1 million over four years for swift parrot recovery actions. That builds on other actions we have taken to protect the swift parrot, which the members would know - and I pay tribute to my predecessors on this one - a $150 000 project to trial methods for trapping sugar gliders. The success of this trial allowed National Resources Management (NRM) South to -
Dr WOODRUFF - Point of order, Mr Speaker, standing order 45. I thank the minister for talking about himself, but I asked him about whether his department had made any advice. He spoke about himself, but not about his department.
Mr SPEAKER - Thank you. We do not have to repeat the question. If you could resume your seat, please. I remind ministers that relevance is always important, but I take it from the conversation. I have heard swift parrot mentioned a number of times, so I will allow the minister to continue.
Dr Woodruff - Was there any advice in the drafting?
Mr ELLIS - You are right, Mr Speaker. It was a weird one, because I was literally talking about the sugar glider and NRM South and leveraging further funding $1 million from the Australian Government to continue this important work.
Dr Woodruff - It is not about the money. It is about the draft plan.
Mr ELLIS - We believe in it. The Swift Parrot Public Authority Management Agreement signed between STT and the former DPIPWE in 2020, for the southern forests, sets aside 9300 hectares of swift parrot nesting habitat from wood production. That is PTPZ (Permanent Timber Production Zone). That is our Government working with our foresters and our community to make sure we do things in a sustainable and measured way -that we are continuing to do the fantastic work we do in that sustainable, renewable native forest industry.
Dr Woodruff - Of driving the swift parrot to extinction.
Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff. Order.
Mr ELLIS - To balance the need for jobs in our community, the need for a renewable carbon-sequestering product like timber, and of course protecting our environment. As those opposite well know, there is a whole suite of factors impacting the long term survival of the swift parrot in Australia. The most significant, and one of the key threats to the swift parrot is predation from sugar gliders, as I mentioned.
Mr SPEAKER - Order. The member will be heard in silence. I note that you have the MPI, but I do not wish to throw any of the Greens out for continuous interjection, because it will be to lunchtime if that happens.
Mr ELLIS - Mr Speaker, I cannot understand why they are so cranky at scientists who say a species like the sugar glider that predates on swift parrots might have an impact on the long term viability of swift parrots. I do not know why that is an issue. I do not know why they are rejecting the scientific advice on that. We have said there is obviously a range of factors that affect the swift parrot, and we are looking at working through all of those factors, rather than this kind of 'narrow cast' approach that the Greens obviously have.
At the end of the day, we know what the Greens are about. They are about locking up the native forest industry in Tasmania, which is world class, world leading and sustainable. They do not necessarily even really care all that much about what it takes, how they do it, but if they can find a way, they will go down that path.
We are here to back our sustainable forest industry and our beautiful environment -
Mr SPEAKER - If you could wind up please, minister.
Mr ELLIS - We developed the swift parrot management plan in consultation with key stakeholders - the detailed strategies and corresponding actions that aim to provide increased conservation and management for the swift parrot in public production forests.