Daniel Andrews betrays Victoria’s timber industry, again

Thursday 21 February 2019

 

Today in Parliament Daniel Andrews’ hypocrisy was on full display with his false claims that he isn’t playing politics with the future of Victoria’s timber workers.

Thousands of jobs of harvest and haulage contractors and sawmill workers have been in limbo for months, while Daniel Andrews plays games with Timber Release Plans that were due out eight months ago.

Daniel Andrews claims he doesn’t want to play politics with Victoria’s timber industry, but his words just don’t match his actions.

Over the past four years, the Andrews Government has done everything possible to starve Victoria’s forest industry of resources, costing regional jobs and undermining business confidence.

Just days from last November’s state election, the Premier quietly pledged support for a walking trail project that will further reduce the amount of timber available for timber mill businesses in East Gippsland.

This was an entirely political action and it was done without any consultation with mill businesses, timber workers, contractors or even VicForests.

Did the CFMMEU know what Daniel Andrews secretly promised?

Tens of thousands of Victorians who rely on the timber industry to pay the bills and support their family are anxiously hoping the Premier will end his Government’s systematic destruction of their industry.

Victoria’s timber industry is suffering death by a thousand cuts under the Andrews Labor Government.

 

Background

Victoria has 7.8 million hectares of forests, and more than 94 per cent of that is either unsuitable or unavailable for timber harvest.

This includes 4.74 million hectares of native forest protected in national parks and conservation reserves.

Annually, Victoria’s timber industry has access to just 0.04 per cent or 3500 hectares or less of the forest estate, with trees replanted and regenerated once harvest is complete.

On Friday, Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh will visit the Latrobe Valley to speak to local timber contractors about the impact of the Andrews Labor Government’s anti-industry actions on their jobs, businesses and communities.

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