Legislative Council: Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Forestry Industry

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (15:28): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Forest Industries a question on forestry.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: In recent weeks, it has been reported that trade in Australian timber has resumed with China. Australian stakeholders have expressed varying points of views on this matter. My questions to the minister are:

1. Which industry organisations has the minister engaged with on this issue?

2. What is the South Australian government's response to the lifting of the trade ban by China?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:29): I thank the honourable member for her question. Indeed, as I actually answered in response to a previous question, just today we have been very pleased to see some positive signs coming out of the engagement by the federal government with China in terms of potential lifting of tariffs and other barriers that are impacting trade.

The response has been generally positive. I don't think I have had any correspondence or had it raised in any meetings that the resumption of trade, or potential resumption of trade, with China in the forestry sector has been perceived negatively. We know that throughout the recent years we have continued to have export of chip to China. I am assuming the honourable member is asking in regard to structural timber, although she didn't actually outline that specifically. At this stage, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.