Up until March 14th, the RFAs were merely an agreement, not legally binding documents. Labor and Liberals worked like best mates to railroad this legislation through in an early morning Canberra sitting. Its passage was met by a huge cheer from both parties. It successfully allows the Feds to wash their hands of any responsibility on forests. If they do step in to save an area for World Heritage or due to a new discovery, we, the public, will have to pay the logging industry truck loads for them not to log it – also called compensation.
Bob Brown tried to get an amendment in which would allow the workers to be compensated by their employing companies if they lost their job, but Labor voted against this.
So what we’ll see is :
- No Commonwealth environmental assessment of logging for the next 20 years.
- Binding requirements for compensation by the Federal Government if any forest area is protected – but no requirements for environmental protection by the states.
- No controls on woodchip exports which are now at a record 7 million tonnes a year.
- No controls on whole sawlog exports which are now at a record 1.1 million tonnes a year .
So the good old ALP acted for the corporations and dumped workers and the environment.