Plantations in the Latrobe Valley

Constituency Question

Mr D O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (14:40): (6458) My question is to the Minister for Agriculture, and I ask: what has happened to the Andrews Labor government’s $110 million commitment to new plantations in the Latrobe Valley, which was announced in the 2017 state budget? This plantation proposal was meant to be part of the transition to a new plantation future, and certainly in light of the disgraceful decision to shut down the native timber industry this would be very useful plantation. This was meant to support supply at Opal at Maryvale, where there are 1000 jobs in the Latrobe Valley reliant on this timber coming through. We were told at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings in 2020 that the commercial tender had been advertised—there was strong interest according to the department at the time—and it would be announced in mid-2021. Last year we heard there were six new investors interested, but we are now in August 2022 and still nothing has happened, so I ask the minister: why is it five years later and we have still not got any actual trees in the ground from this announcement?

Stay up-to-date

Subscribe to Danny’s regular newsletter to stay informed about issues relating to Gippsland South.