Six years on from promising more plantations to help Gippsland transition from the native timber industry, the State Labor Government has planted just 4,000 trees.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said the revelation this week in Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearings confirms the Government’s failure on Gippsland jobs and industry.
“It was in the 2017-18 Budget that the Government committed $110 million for more plantations – a commitment we welcomed as we need more trees in the ground to support local jobs and industry,” Mr O’Brien said.
“That commitment became even more important when Labor disastrously decided to shut down the native timber industry. But it has sat on its hands for six years and delivered virtually nothing.
“In announcing the Gippsland Plantations Investment Program (GPIP) the Labor Government committed to planting 30 million trees, but this week advised only 4,000 had so far been planted.
“At this rate, it’ll take 7,500 years for the Government to meet its 30 million tree promise.
“This is a major let down for Gippsland timber industry workers, including those at Maryvale and other timber mills around the region who rely on plantations.
“The native hardwood sector should never have been shut down, but Labor has even failed when it comes to a replacement plantation sector.
“I’ll continue to advocate strongly for our timber workers and jobs across the region.”