No certainty for Vic forestry jobs

Wednesday 22 February 2017

 

The Andrews Government’s hostility toward Victoria’s forestry industry will bleed jobs, Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh has said.

Mr Walsh said workers at two major forestry businesses in East Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley would be devastated at Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford’s failure to commit to doing anything to save their jobs, when answering a question in Parliament today.

“East Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley are bleeding jobs as Daniel Andrews plays politics to keep his own,” Mr Walsh said.

“Our forestry industry and the livelihood of hundreds of local workers are in jeopardy because the Andrews Labor Government is paralysed by their inability to choose our regional jobs over green preferences.”

In response to a question from the Nationals’ Melina Bath today, Ms Pulford refused to detail why the Government hasn’t done anything to secure 250 jobs at Australian Sustainable Hardwoods’ Heyfield mill and at least 40 more at Hancock Victoria Plantations.

“The Andrews Government is ignoring how critical the situation is for these forestry businesses,” Mr Walsh said.

“As well as the direct impacts, thousands of jobs down the supply chain are now threatened because of the Government’s paralysis.

“Enough is enough – the hardwood timber resources are there as is suitable land for the plantation estate, all that is missing is political will from Daniel Andrews to back the industry.”

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