Question Time: Forestry Industry

Tuesday April 30, 2019

Mr BELL (Mount Gambier) (15:07): My supplementary is to the minister for forestry. Does the South-East forest processors association support the government's approach in opposing the inquiry into forestry in the South-East?

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (15:07): I thank the member for Mount Gambier for his question. Certainly, there are still a number of vagaries around the sustainability of the forest industry in the Green Triangle. The South Australian Timber Processors Association do have some concerns about the FIAC. They have had concerns about the sale of the forward rotations. They have had a number of concerns about where forestry is going. One of the big issues has been about the certainty of supply of domestic log. That is probably one of the biggest issues.

What I would say is that the FIAC is there listening, wanting to know how we are going to address the supply of log to domestic mills, how we are going to address the supply and the continual supply of timber to value-added industries that are looking to set up. There are many, many private investment companies that are looking to come to the Green Triangle, and they are looking for certainty and continuity of supply. That is why we set up the FIAC as an election commitment, that is why we are supporting the forestry industry and that is why we are looking to not only grow the value but grow the number of trees in the ground.

The SPEAKER: Today, during question time I ejected a member for applauding during question time. I am advised that Speaker Atkinson recently ruled on this matter in 2015, when he said that during debate members of the government applauded a comment the Premier made. The Speaker advised:

Members of the government's side will cease applauding. Applause is not permissible in the chamber. I would also add that I actually tried as attorney to outlaw this particular practice, and my proposal perished in the upper house.