The Nationals Gippsland South Native Timber Andrews Labor Government Heyfield mill sustainable ASH mill workers job loss Timber timber harvesting harvesting

Timber closure another Labor blow to Gippsland

Gippsland will suffer further at the hands of Labor after the Andrews’ Government decision to cease timber harvesting in native forests.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, said he was devastated by Labor’s plans to end native timber harvesting which would cost jobs in Gippsland.

“This is nothing more than a city-centric decision to sacrifice local jobs in the pursuit of green votes in the inner city.

“Daniel Andrews has no interest in timber workers jobs - he’s still never visited the Heyfield mill despite promising to do so nearly three years ago - his focus is on inner-city votes.

“Shutting down a sustainable, renewable industry that provides jobs in small rural towns is diabolical policy.

“It seems to have escaped the Premier that this is the same industry he invested $60 million of taxpayers’ dollars in to buy a timber mill that will now not have access to timber in the future.

“This decision has huge ramifications for towns and people in the timber industry in places like Yarram, Sale, Rosedale and Heyfield, not to mention the Latrobe Valley.

“My Nationals colleagues and I will fight this decision all the way.  It will hurt Gippsland and will lead to more timber imports from places where forestry practices are not sustainable.”

Mr O’Brien said while he supported plantation development, it could not replace the long rotation hardwoods provided by the native timber sector.

“There is strong demand for our native hardwood and that underpins local jobs.  They will go under this decision, as will the resources the timber industry provides to help fight bushfires.  The consequences of that alone will be deadly for our environment.

“This is a bad decision that I will fight to have reversed.”

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