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RFA - Wood Pulp Agreement

Letters between Prime Minister Keating, Amcor Maryvale Mil, lawyers and the state government provide assurances to Australian Paper that the Wood Pulp Agreement Act would not be interfered with by developing the RFA's. Given the Wood Pulp Agreement Act (developed in 1996) was not based on conservation requirements of threatened species but rather resource needs of the Maryvale Pulp Mill, it can be assumed that the Central Highlands RFA's, and the subsequent State's Forest Management Plans, deliberately circumvented conservation restrictions (set out in such things as the Leadbeater's Possum Action statements written before the RFA's) as necessary to enable a minimum of 13.55 million cubic metres of pulpwood to Australian Paper from the Central Highlands from 1996 until 2030. This is not a 'compromise', as the courts assumed, as the balance of conservation needs was never there in the first place - rather the policy was always contingent of the Maryvale Mills needs not that of threatened species. The RFA's are therefore inconsistent with the requirements of threatened species and always have been.

Advice 4 jan 96.pdf (1,003.61 kB)