Timber job losses

Constituency Question

Danny O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (12:41): (172) My question is to the Minister for Regional Development, and I ask: what industries will the government be seeking to bring to Gippsland now that it has brought forward dramatically the shutdown of the native timber industry to January 2024? We have already lost major employers like Hazelwood, with Yallourn to come; we have seen the shutdown of white paper manufacturing at Maryvale; and now the timber industry will be gone in just over six months. This will damage Gippsland towns, cost jobs and cost livelihoods. The loss of forestry contractors will see the forest burn when the next fires break out, and strong demand for hardwood will simply see more timber imported from overseas, where there is less environmental regulation than we have here. It is a bad day to be an orangutan. What a farce, what a disgrace and what better evidence that the once great Labor Party that used to support blue-collar workers is now more interested in out-greening the inner-city Greens.

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