STATE FOREST LAND REVOCATION
Dr MEHREEN FARUQI (15:27): My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Resources,
representing the Minister for the Environment. Given that The Nationals candidate for Murray has vowed to push
to have the river red gum national park downgraded, including internationally significant Ramsar wetlands, will
the Government rule out the revocation of this important national park?
The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister
for the Arts) (15:27): Obviously, the candidate for that seat has views and is fighting for the community he seeks
to represent. It would not be the first time that a member in this place has stuck up for their community and
represented what they wanted even though a somewhat different view might have been held by other members of
the team he aspires to join. All I can say is he should keep trying his hardest.
Dr Mehreen Faruqi: Point of order: My point of order is relevance. I asked a specific question about
the revocation of the River Red Gum National Park. The Minister is not being relevant to my question.
The Hon. Niall Blair: To the point of order. The member asked the question in relation to comments
made by that true local champion, Austin Evans, The Nationals candidate for the electorate of Murray. The
Minister is being directly relevant to the comments made by that true local champion fighting for the Murray,
The PRESIDENT: I thank the Minister for that debating point. There is no point of order. The Minister
is not required to be directly relevant but generally relevant. Clearly, he was being generally relevant.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: Dr Mehreen Faruqi asked about the revocation of the national park that is
known as the River Red Gum National Park. It is an area I know well. It is near Mathoura. I spent a week on
holidays at Mathoura. Two of my parents’ best friends from youth fellowship were living in Mathoura with their
two kids when they were younger. I walked through that area. My parents lived in Deniliquin just before I was
The PRESIDENT: Order! There is too much audible conversation in the Chamber.
The Hon. Niall Blair: We should have signed you up.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: Had I been there longer that may have been an option. Unfortunately, my
grandfather had a heart attack and my parents moved to Sydney just before I was born. I was born in Sydney.
Dr Mehreen Faruqi: Point of order: My point of order is again relevance. I did not ask the Minister for
his family history. I asked a specific question.
The PRESIDENT: I direct the Minister back to the question and ask him to be generally relevant.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: I am being a bad former President. Austin Evans is out there doing a
fantastic job as a candidate. I have fingers and toes crossed that come next Tuesday we will be able to welcome
him to a joint upper House party meeting. I fully expect he will stand up for his community and represent its views
strongly. The question was asked of me representing the Minister for the Environment, and I will make sure the
question is passed on to her for a response at the appropriate time.
If honourable members have further questions, I invite them to place them on notice.
STATE FOREST LAND REVOCATION
In reply to Dr MEHREEN FARUQI (12 October 20117).
The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts)—The Minister provided the following response:
I am advised in 2009, the Natural Resource Commission recommended to NPWS to implement a trial of ecological thinning in river red gum reserves to address management problems associated with high stem density and canopy dieback in strands of river red gum forests.
NPWS has commenced a five-year post-thinning monitoring programme.